Manjimup doctors, fed up with not getting enough work, are considering relocating their families.
Dr Maria O’Shea has struggled for the last year to get enough shifts at the Warren District Hospital and is anxious about the possibility of relocating her daughters so she can find more work.
Dr O’Shea’s husband said his wife had looked outside of Manjimup and Pemberton for work as a locum while the WA Country Health Service was flying doctors from as far as Queensland to work at Warren District Hospital.
‘‘The local doctors have asked for over a year to be put on the Manjimup roster to provide cover at the hospital but not been given any continuous and reliable wo rk at that location,’’ he said.
‘‘The result of this scenario is a swell of disenchantment among local doctors and as they spread their wings to other locations the possibility grows of ultimately relocating to somewhere where they will be more appreciated.
‘‘As a doctor’s spouse I am horrified that Maria has to leave here to go to Mount Barker to supply a service which she has capably performed here for the past seven years.
‘‘This is about what’s best for the community and improving the medical system and services across the board.’’
Dr O’Shea confirmed she would be travelling to Mount Barker in coming months and was concerned about the potential need to relocate her family.
Meanwhile, WA Country Health Service South West regional director Grace Ley said due to a lack of doctors available to be on call for the Warren District Hospital emergency department over the past three years, the health service had contracted medical staff to provide coverage at the hospital.
She said the health service worked closely with doctors, medical recruitment agencies and general practices and supported their efforts to attract and retain more doctors into the area.
WA Country Health Service would not comment on whether contracted doctors were being flown from Queensland.
GP Down South chief executive officer Amanda Poller said there was not a lack of work in Manjimup and was surprised that a general practitioner was considering relocating.