Dametto Demands More GPs

Apr 14, 2023

State Member for Hinchinbrook and Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto, has sponsored a Queensland Parliament petition calling for more full-time doctors in rural medical practices including but not limited to Cardwell, Ingham, Tully and Mission Beach. 

 The Hinchinbrook MP stated that rural medical practices are under resourced and it’s time for the State Labor Government to step up. 

 The Hinchinbrook electorate has the highest aging population per capita compared to anywhere else in Queensland,” Mr Dametto said. 

 It’s a fact that many health conditions are more common as people age, so you could say that the elderly are the higher users of our health services. Despite this, we still have the regional and rural areas with aging populations not getting the adequate health care they deserve. 

 Around this time last year, we were hearing the State Labor Government harp on about their 2022-23 record Health Budget. Well, thfinancial year is drawing to a close and in regional and rural areas we haven’t seen a larger workforce or innovative reforms to our health system, which was what this record Health Budget was set to achieve. 

 We are calling on the community to sign this petition and demand more doctors for regional and rural areas. 

 Principal Petitioner, Gabi Plumm has experienced firsthand the negative impacts that doctor shortages are having on rural towns such as Cardwell and believes both State and Federal Governments must act now. 

 As I live in Cardwell, a town where a large majority of residents are over 60 years of age, I have seen how difficult it is for people get access to a doctor in order to: get a repeat prescription, get a referral to a specialist, or simply consult a medical professional when one’s health is failing, Ms Plumm said. 

 We are sent to Tully Hospital emergency which is fine if one can drive or if one has a friend to drive. This is not the case for many people, and we have no taxis or home visits.  

 Our Family Practice in Cardwell has suffered from rapidly rising costs, major difficulties in employing doctors and nurses, with locums, when identified, charging vast sums just to relocate to this area.  

 “The State Government must expend more money to encourage doctors from overseas to come to this beautiful region, and the Federal Government must address the inadequate Medicare rebates which I understand, have not been increased for many years. It is a dreadful situation that must be addressed in both areas of government. 

 To sign the paper petition, please visit the Hinchinbrook Electorate Office located at 86-92 Herbert Street, Ingham. 

 To sign the e-petition, please visit the Queensland Parliament website