New Streaky Bay doctor settling well in West Coast community

DOCTOR: Streaky Bay Medical Clinic board chairperson Jonas Woolford says continuity of care has been important for the community in recent months. Photo: Luca Cetta
DOCTOR: Streaky Bay Medical Clinic board chairperson Jonas Woolford says continuity of care has been important for the community in recent months. Photo: Luca Cetta

Streaky Bay Medical Clinic board chairperson Jonas Woolford says the addition of a permanent doctor to the clinic has given the community the continuity of care they had been seeking.

Dr Victoria Bradley moved to Streaky Bay last August, filling the position left vacant when Dr Zeli Sobantu moved back to Naracoorte in 2019.

He had taken over the reins from longtime general practitioner Dr Rob Oswald, who retired in early 2018.

The clinic was on the hunt for a permanent doctor for more than a year, with locums helping to fill the void.

Mr Woolford said they were pleased to have the services of Dr Bradley and that it was vital for the community to have continuity in their medical care.

"When she started it was full on and it has been ever since," he said.

"That continuity of care is critical for a community, particularly the aged care as well.

"We've still had to secure locums to cover 50 per cent of on-call duties and they help share the load so Dr Bradley is not working 24/7."

Mr Woolford said the clinic was still on the hunt for a second permanent GP.

The use of locums can cost up to $2000 a day and the COVID-19 pandemic has added a complication to the situation.

"We have had a few leads, but when they have shown interest and been contacted the response is they have decided to stay where they are," Mr Woolford said.

"There is uncertainty with COVID travel restrictions and it has made it a lot more difficult to get interstate locums because of the uncertainty about leaving or getting back home."

Despite this, Mr Woolford said the clinic had been "positive" since Dr Bradley arrived.

He also said the support of the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency and the Eyre and Far North Local Health Network was vital, especially when COVID restrictions were first applied early last year.

Mr Woolford said the clinic board's annual general meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 16 at the Streaky Bay Hotel's dining room from 7.30pm.

There are board vacancies to fill on the evening, and all are welcome to attend, both members and non-members.

This story Addition is just what the doctor ordered for Streaky Bay first appeared on West Coast Sentinel.