By ED SOUTHORN
Ageing population stretches Tweed's struggling health services
THE Tweed needs more doctors to cope with a growing, older population.
Tweed Division of General Practice spokesman Dr Graeme Burger yesterday supported comments by North Coast Area Health Service boss Chris Crawford, who says a record number of patients attending The Tweed Hospital emergency department shows there is a need for more local GPs.
Dr Burger also confirmed that "quite a lot" of Tweed doctors were not taking any new patients because they could not cope with increased workloads.
He said the Tweed ratio of doctors to residents was about the national average ? one GP to 1400 people ? but the Tweed had twice the average number of residents aged over 65, and this age group required far more medical care than younger folk.
Dr Burger is hopeful the latest federal government incentive to attract more doctors to regional areas ? a $15,000 grant for rural GPs trained in procedures including anaesthetics and obstetrics ? might help to attract more doctors to the Tweed.