'Amazing': Influx of doctors for Gladstone in health boost

RESIDENTS sick of travelling to Rockhampton for health services have pleaded for more doctors in Gladstone, and they may not be far away.

The Gladstone and Banana Hospitals are in a "major recruitment drive" for specialist and non-specialist staff.

On Wednesday Gladstone residents made a call for more hospital services on The Observer's Facebook page.

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This was prompted by our state member Glenn Butcher's request for residents to add suggestions to his Butcher's Paper to help shape our region's future.

Gladstone-Banana Hospital executive director of medical services Dr Tim Smart said their list of specialist services was growing as they continued a "major recruitment drive".

"We will have three general surgeons, three paediatricians, three obstetrician/gynaecologists, three general physicians and three emergency specialists on our team; a number of whom are already in place," Dr Smart said.

Some residents said there was a need for a geriatric ward and cancer treatment services in our region.

Marilyn Stewart said Gladstone needed a good "Government aged care facility".

"It's just amazing for a city the size that it is and it seems it's just gone backwards continuously," Ms Stewart said.

But Dr Smart said sometimes it is not so simple, with specialists needing to see a number of cases each year to deem their service viable at a hospital.

"This is why highly specialised clinical care such as brain and heart surgeries are done in tertiary hospitals in large cities such as Brisbane.

"A number of specialists visit Gladstone Hospital to hold clinics regularly, including dermatologist, oncologist, a haematologist and orthopaedic surgeons."

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Gladstone renal patients must travel to the Rockhampton hospital to see nephrologists, but some are able to have their treatment by a satellite renal dialysis unit in our hospital.

He said telehealth clinics also spared some residents the inconvenience of travelling.

Dr Smart said the public and private Gladstone hospitals offer a range of services, and as demand grows he said these will "expand even further".

"We are very excited about construction of our new Emergency Department which will enable our team to provide even better care," Dr Smart said.



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