Six new doctors will soon head up a seven-day a week bulk billing medical practice set to open in Echuca in two weeks.By Ivy Wise
Echuca will have six new doctors by the end of the year.
The doctors, from Sydney and Melbourne, will operate from a seven-day a week bulk billing medical clinic, set to open on September 23 inside Amcal Pharmacy in Hare St.
Director Nameer Abdaullah, who is based in Shepparton and has been practising for more than 20 years, said the doctor shortage and ageing population were the reasons he decided to open the clinic.
‘‘I did my research and contacted the local division of GPs, health services and pharmacists and I found there was a high demand for doctors,’’ Dr Abdaullah said.
‘‘A significant portion of the community is an ageing population.
‘‘Older people are honest and reliable and easy to deal with. They are straight to the point and don’t cause any problems.
‘‘In urban areas, there is a lot of violence and safety of doctors is an issue.
‘‘After talking to health professionals, they strongly recommended the town as a very good place for doctors to settle in. It’s a very nice family-oriented area.
‘‘It’s also a growing area.’’
Two female GPs from Sydney, who are trained in gynaecology, obstetrics and paediatrics, will start first, followed by another doctor every four weeks.
The other four male doctors are from Sydney and Melbourne.
Dr Abdaullah, who is also an examiner at the Royal College of GPs, said the decision to make the clinic a bulk billing practice was so everyone could access health services.
‘‘People become reluctant to go and see a doctor (when it becomes too expensive),’’ he said.
‘‘My philosophy is ‘If I could practice with minimum wage and help people, I’d do it’.
‘‘I promise the community that everyone who comes forward will be welcome. We will take appointments and walk-ins.’’
Dr Abdaullah said he wanted to work with existing local doctors, not upset them, to improve the health of all residents.
‘‘At the end of the day, we may share patients and if we work together, it will benefit the community,’’ he said.
The clinic will be open from 8.30am to 6pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on weekends and hours will increase if demand requires it.
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