Joint statement from Mackay HHS, Clermont4Doctors and ClermontConnect
Mackay HHS and Clermont4Doctors are continuing to work hard to secure more permanent doctors in the community.
Both organisations are in contact with doctors who have a strong interest in working at the Clermont MPHS and in primary care.
Mackay HHS Executive Director of Public Health and Rural Services Terry Johnson said the health service was talking with a Queensland doctor who was interested in moving to Clermont with his family.
“This doctor is also interested in general practice and primary health care, and we will be talking to him around options on how we can support his interest in this,” Ms Johnson said.
Mackay HHS and Clermont4Doctors acknowledge the hard work of staff at Clermont Country Practice over the past years.
Clermont4Doctors Project Worker Janelle Otto said they were talking to another inter-state doctor who wanted to work across acute and primary care.
“What we ultimately want is to improve the community’s access to doctors so they can get the care they need, when they need it,” she said.
“We have looked at the data and listened to the community and they are definitely telling us they need more access to GP services.”
Mackay HHS and Clermont4Doctors are working with Clermont Connect and JCU as part of a placed-based planning project which has looked at data for emergency department presentations to the MPHS.
Clermont Connect is part of JCU’s Integrating Health Care Planning and Prosperity in North Queensland project.
This data shows a substantial increase in total number of attendances for emergency care between 2016/2017 and 2020/2021.
The number of people coming to emergency has increased from 1818 a year to 4374 a year in this time.
Lower urgency care (Category 4 and Category 5) contributed significantly to this increase.
Clermont Connect Project Worker Catherine Wilkes said the data suggested the community needed more access to doctors in general practice.
“With a resident population of 4000 plus the FIFO workers, contractors and grey nomads the demand for healthcare is significant,” she said.
Ms Wilkes said during a series of four workshops community felt strongly that everyone should have access to health checks, and that this was currently not the case.
“We also need to take the demand off the local hospital and the existing GP practice which has recently expanded to secure another doctor and a nurse practitioner.
“We know that supporting healthcare workers is important for workforce retention and recruitment,” she said.