MP slams govt over lack of doctor
AGNES Water, Seventeen Seventy and surrounding districts have been without a doctor for two months and it could be another two before they get one.
Residents have all but given up — and Member for Burnett Rob Messenger is calling on the Premier to step in and sack Health Minister and Deputy Premier Paul Lucas.
“Anna Bligh has to take positive action now over the abysmal state of the Queensland health system and sack the minister,” Mr Messenger said.
“The fact that there is still no doctor in Agnes Water – and that Queensland Health cannot even get the basics right, like paying staff – the Premier must take decisive action immediately to maintain any credibility.''
Agnes Water, like many regions in Queensland, has a history of not being able to attract and keep at least one local GP.
Two private practices in the town closed this year, the latest in early May, leaving the population of about 2000 without a doctor and facing a journey of 90 minutes to two hours to the nearest doctor, for those who do have transport, either in Gladstone or Bundaberg.
The Agnes Water Medical Centre, a council-owned building on Rafting Grounds Road, sits empty with the likelihood of another six to eight weeks, at a minimum, before it reopens.
Gladstone-based Psychup Pty Ltd has agreed with the Gladstone Regional Council to take up the business, but after lengthy delays it could be late August or September before a doctor is in residence.
Queensland Health said they were aware of the situation and recognised the need for a doctor and put the onus back on the the council saying the private practice in Agnes Water was managed by the the council and that “council is seeking expressions of interest for suitably qualified medical professionals to operate a GP service in the town''.
Cr Maxine Brushe said: “We are trying our utmost to get a doctor in Agnes Water as quickly as possible.''