‘Tsunami’ of patients rush back to GPs in droves
A "TSUNAMI" of patients has made it difficult to get in to see a GP on the Sunshine Coast, the region's peak medical association reports.
Australian Medical Association Sunshine Coast president Dr Roger Faint said the waiting times were a direct result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Faint said most centres had recorded a lull in patient numbers during the height of the crisis as people stayed at home during the lockdown.
But now COVID-19 restrictions are easing, patients have "flooded" back to doctors surgeries.
"People were hanging off going to see the GP, now there's a tsunami of them rushing back," Dr Faint said.
He said it had created a shortage in appointments for anything from children's vaccinations, diabetic care, chronic disease to general check-ups.
"Now people are relaxing more, people are suddenly feeling the need to go," Dr Faint said.
"How long the wait will depend on each centre, but instead of a day, it might be a week.
"It's a fair bit of time and frustrating for patients."
Annie George, a doctor at Buderim Marketplace Medical Centre, urged people feeling unwell not put off going to the doctor.
"We don't want people missing out, it's important to see the GP still," Dr George said.
"Telehealth has made it easy to see patients. After two quiet months we are incredibly busy.
"The practises are as safe as possible, so if you're sick, come in."