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Collapse Issue 414 - 06 Mar 2017Issue 414 - 06 Mar 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Fast ferry service proposal presented to Premier
Centenarians celebrate birthdays
Gosford by-election to be held on April 8
'Beautiful opportunity' for Liesl Tesch
Woy Woy channel 'worse than halftide rocks'
Memorial erected to lone dolphin
Petrol prices skyrocket to 13 cents more than Gosford
Power interrupted with thunderstorms
Association writes to Premier about jetskis
Council to spend $1 million on Peninsula
Vietnam Vets plan to expand its Ettalong office
Film proceeds donated to Mary Mac's
Senator congratulates Tesch as Labor candidate
Labor candidate selection 'undemocratic', says Crouch
Chamber calls for Liberals to select local candidate
Environment network seeks volunteers
Residents' group opposes home park expansion
Talk about kayak journey inspired by Killcare resident
A week of activities for seniors
Community fair at Hardys Bay
President's position not filled
New set down and pick up area
Attorney-General asked about court closure
Chamber welcomes penalty rate cuts
Pedestrian injured in motorcycle accident
Umina man to face court
Council holds developers' forum
Rotary club recognised at Parliament House
New restaurant opens
Business decision pays off
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Elections must go ahead
Action needed on fuel price fixing
Less opportunity with penalty rate cuts
Rail crossing missing link needs funding
Back to square one
Party heavyweights won't change vote
Don't re-elect Gosford councillors
Traffic blind spots need correction
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Sod turned for hospital redevelopment
Wicks speaks about Peninsula GP shortage
GP 'emergency' a political stunt, says O'Neill
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Williamson play at Little Theatre
George Mann to perform at folk club
Umina singer cast in opera
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
School writes to the Council
Kaelan is ACT judo champion
Attention to helmets at Umina
Three students set 10 records
Principal describes school's targets
New sports attire
Push bike donated as prize
Reading Buddies program runs in libraries
Goalball team to be selected
Performing arts groups formed
Softball session at Pretty Beach
School holds swimming carnival
Writers' workshops at lunch time
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Surf clubs each receive almost $10,000
Umina launches new surf boat
Heat interrupts pairs championship
Ocean Beach returns from carnival
Roosters have first hit-out
Charity bowls attracts 50 players
Ettalong dominates Triples finals

Wicks speaks about Peninsula GP shortage

The shortage of GPs on the Peninsula has been raised by Member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks in Federal Parliament.

Ms Wicks said she had met with the Minister for Health, Mr Greg Hunt.

She said she had also spoken at length with the Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie, who has responsibility for health workforce.

Dr Gillespie accepted Ms Wicks' invitation to visit the Peninsula and form a strategic and considered approach to attract quality health providers to the area.

The date for the visit has not yet been confirmed.

"Families in my electorate ...deserve to be able to access a local GP nearby when they are sick and when they need to see one," Ms Wicks said in her speech.

"I rise to speak about this important issue because, sadly, it appears not to be the case for too many people living in suburbs like Woy Woy, Umina, Ettalong and Patonga," Ms Wicks said.

"The shortage of GPs on the Peninsula, in particular, has, to quote a respected local doctor, moved 'past crisis point'," she said.

"This has been a major issue and a great source of frustration for many people on the Peninsula for a number of years now, with the added pressure of a rapidly growing population.

"We will work closely with local stakeholders, like the highly-effective Primary Health Network, and our local community, to create a strategy for recruitment with a focus on long-term sustainability and supply."

Mrs Wicks said she recently met with Dr Ray Martin at his Umina surgery about this issue.

Dr Martin has been practising as a GP on the Peninsula for three decades.

"He said that the doctor shortage was 'quite extreme'.

"With plans to move on and finish up his practice at the end of the month, around 1200 patients will now be looking for a doctor because Dr Martin has not been able to successfully recruit another GP to replace him," Ms Wicks said.

She said Peninsula locals had reached out to her about this issue.

"Tania said she was finding it extremely difficult to find a practice which has its books open to accept new patients.

"This being the case, she feared the only solution for many of the affected people would be to go to emergency at Gosford Hospital.

"Dr Martin had been the family doctor of Robert from Booker Bay for many years and he fears he will have no access to a GP nearby when he closes this practice.

"Maria's family moved to Umina in December 2013 and that they still have not been able to see a local doctor.

"Ray, also from Umina, has to book four or five days in advance to see a doctor.

"Kane has lived on the Peninsula since October and he has been turned away from every practice on the Peninsula.

"Even if there is a booking free, they will not see him.

"Clint said the line 'we're not taking new patients' is what you hear from almost all the surgeries in Woy Woy and Umina.

"Woy Woy pharmacist Lance Clarke has been servicing the area for 32 years, described the situation as 'ridiculous'.

"Of course, ultimately it is not the Government's job to either train or hire GPs.

"We can, of course, put long-term plans in place but, ultimately, it is actually our responsibility to listen to the concerns of our residents, to raises these concerns in the parliament and to act where we can on issues as urgent as this.

"It is especially important because of the personal impact it has on the lives of people who live on the Peninsula.

"We have a strong record of delivering on this important issue in the past.

"We have determination to deliver again in the future."

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