Rural doctor shortage across the country

Rural doctor shortage across the country

The shortage of doctors in rural communities all over Australia is a decades-old problem for which, unfortunately, no one has yet invented the magic cure.
Despite a number of requirements and incentives designed to push more local and overseas doctors to rural areas, a study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2020 found around 20 per cent of Australia’s rural population were unable to see a GP due to none being close by.
And almost 60 per cent said they had no access to specialists in their region.
Orbost is not alone in feeling the pain of not having enough permanent, long-serving GPs in the area.
Every week, and from every state, the media reports on yet another regional community suffering from the same problem.
In Victoria, the latest data shows there are 409 clinicians for every 100,000 people in Melbourne, but outside Melbourne it is as low as 150 per 100,000 in some areas.

IMAGE: Dr Janie Maxwell at Orbost Regional Health. (PS)

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