Medical centre about to close
THE Warwick Medical Centre on Guy St is rumoured to close by mid year, and patients will be hard-pressed to find another surgery that will let them in the doors.
The Condamine Medical Centre has closed its books to new patients despite the potential for a patient influx once the Warwick Medical Centre closes.
That leaves an estimated 60 patients a day from the Warwick Medical Centre with no doctor, bar the hospital which is already operating at high capacity.
Present chairman of the Condamine Medical Centre Dr Lynton Hudson said it was in the best interest of their current patients to disallow any new clients.
"As a practice, we had a meeting last night, and we feel we can't take those patients on because we're already struggling with our patients," Dr Hudson said.
"Everyone feels they are at the top level they can work at and I feel there's a greater responsibility to our own patients at the moment."
Dr Lynton said other than the hospital, people would have to travel out of town to seek medical advice.
The question is, where?
Allora is already exploding at the seams and Killarney's surgery is still being built.
Dr Lynton said the books would remain closed to new patients until they could employ more doctors to cope with the numbers.
"We are looking to improve our capacity but it is difficult to get people to come and work here full-time," he said.
The Condamine Medical Centre currently has 16 doctors, six of them part time.
One Warwick resident was outraged when she heard the Warwick Medical Centre was closing and the Condamine Medical Centre would not take on their patients.
"I'm 75 and I have a lot of medical needs," she said.
"The doctor said try Allora, but their books are full."
A Council spokeswoman said there were no plans for a new medical centre in Warwick.
The Warwick Medical Centre was unavailable to confirm or deny if they were definitely closing down, but other health services have been told this was the case.
Population to doctor ratio
As Warwick continues to grow, medical staff plummet in the opposite direction.
Warwick population in 2009: 24,179 (an annual increase of 488 people since 2008).
Predicted population by 2031: 30,978 (an average growth of 1.1% per year).
With an estimated 18 General Practitioners in Warwick, that leaves one GP to every 1,343 people based on 2009 population statistics.