Aug 11, 2022 | State News, Will Baston

The Perth-Labor State Government must deliver a full-time General Practitioner (GP) in Denham and ensure there is surge capacity in small tourism towns during peak season to avoid extremely long waits to see a doctor.

“Waiting six weeks or more for an appointment with a local GP in Denham is completely unacceptable and needs to be addressed urgently,” Liberal Candidate for North West Central, Will Baston, said.

“The massive increase in the local population during tourist season must be factored into the calculation of medical resources allocated in the town and Shire,” he said.

The local population of 950 swells up to four-fold during peak season with a total of 532,000 visitor nights in the Shire of Shark Bay alone.

“The current allocation of a doctor for 1.5 days per week does not go anywhere close to the average of nearly four doctors per 1000 people in Australia reported by the World Bank,” said Mr Baston.

“To meet the Australian average there should be a full-time doctor for the permanent resident population and additional surge capacity during peak tourism season.”

“I am calling on the State Government to start the process of improving services by immediately engaging an additional full-time equivalent qualified GP and undertaking a study into the real demand for services during peak tourism season, then implementing a surge response.”

“People in regional areas are patient, but there is a real risk to life when so many people are so far away from appropriate medical support.”