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The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is working with his Canberra colleagues to try to solve the shortage of doctors in communities like Orbost.

The difficulty attracting doctors to the town was one of the important issues raised when Mr Chester visited Orbost Regional Health recently.

“Patients from Orbost and the surrounding area depend on the Orbost Regional Health for their health care needs,” Mr Chester said.

“The clinic also trains young medical students and gives them a taste of what it’s like to practise medicine in a rural area. Hopefully, their positive experiences in Orbost will mean that when they are qualified they will stay in Gippsland or join a practice in another rural community.

“There are a number of factors contributing to the doctor shortage in Orbost, not least is the reluctance of some doctors to move far from Melbourne.

“This is not just a problem being faced in Orbost. There are many, many towns and small communities in Gippsland which have an on-going challenge attracting and keeping doctors.

“It’s a difficult problem to overcome, but I’m working with my colleagues in Canberra to see what more we can do to make rural and regional practice a more attractive option for new doctors.”

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