Campaign to celebrate long-serving GPs
GAYNDAH resident Arthur Marshall is disturbed by reports he has been reading in the news that Australia is struggling to produce enough general practitioners in medicine, especially in the bush, leading to an increase in foreign-trained doctors.
He has submitted to the Times clippings from the Courier and Sunday Mails showing young graduates are shunning general practice in favour of more lucrative specialist practices.
One of them ('We are a nation of fly-in doctors', Courier Mail, 13/01) quotes the president of the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners, Dr Harry Nespolon, as saying that, while there are more GPs, their capacity is shrinking.
"Many GPs are in their 50s and will be retiring in the next 10-15 years and there is a feminisation of the workforce, which means more part-time doctors," he said.
Mr Marshall thinks we should celebrate those that remain as they near the twilight of their careers.
He thinks there is not nearly enough recognition for our long-serving bush GPs, such as Gayndah Family Practice's Dr Henry Ung, who on February 1 will celebrate his 50 year anniversary of practice, more of which you will read about in the Times.
Sporting stars have halls of fame, but what is there for people like Dr Ung and Dr Col Owen in Inglewood, Queensland's longest serving practitioner with more than 60 years of experience, Mr Marshall asks?
"There needs to be something to recognise their service," Mr Marshall declares.
"I think there should be a campaign across the News network so people can submit stories of their local doctor who has been there for many years to say thank you."
To get the ball rolling, Mr Marshall is preparing a piece to thank Dr Ung and hopes others do the same, whether for Dr Ung or whoever it is in their town who has made a difference.
Do you have a story of a GP or health worker in your town who deserves recognition? Submit it to the Times and we can say thank you for all their hard work over a long period of time in keeping us healthy and happy.