Dr Stephen Rigby says setting up a medical clinic is not easy.
Dr Stephen Rigby says setting up a medical clinic is not easy.

Setting up a clinic is complex

IT simply isn’t enough to point the finger at Gladstone Regional Council for the lack of general practitioner services in Agnes Water, according to a long-standing Gladstone GP.

Dr Stephen Rigby, who has been offering medical services to Gladstone residents for about 30 years, said establishing a new medical clinic consisted of a number of matters that had to be dealt with at a number of government levels.

“There are a number of quite complex issues with regard to it,” he said.

Dr Rigby speaks from experience as one of the practices that applied to the council to set up a clinic on the Discovery Coast, but was unsuccessful.

“We spent quite a lot of time investigating the viability of doing that,” he said.

“We put a lot of work into setting up a clinic at Agnes Water to offer a viable long-term medical practice.

“We were going to utilise our clinic to expand down there. To do that is no easy feat to make it work.

“We were prepared to run it at a loss for three months.

“The reality is we live in a world where everyone has to put bread and butter on the table.”

Dr Rigby said his practice was at the point where they had hired a practice manager full-time to deal with such matters.

“It’s a full-time job putting together those submissions,” he said.

Dr Rigby said the only thing a local government could do towards establishing medical services was provide incentives, such as providing a facility with low rent.

He said that needed to be done to offset the costs of someone driving six-hour round trips daily.



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