Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

City Suffers Shortage of Young Docs; No One to Replace Them as Older GPs Reach Retirement

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

City Suffers Shortage of Young Docs; No One to Replace Them as Older GPs Reach Retirement

Article excerpt

Byline: JOSEPHINE GILLESPIE josephine.gillespie@qt.com.au

ONE of Ipswich's longest-serving GPs has warned the city needs an influx of younger doctors to care for patients in the next decade.

Dr Harry Ratnam, who opened his practice in Riverview in 1982, said his generation of "old-timer" doctors were now retiring and needed to be replaced urgently.

He also warned that many of his younger colleagues were reluctant to work the same hours and days as their predecessors.

The 59-year-old spoke out to mark the Australian Medical Association's 2009 GP Week.

"The majority of doctors working as GPs are all in the 50s and 60s and will all retire in the next few years," Dr Ratnam said.

"Who is going to fill the gap? Younger GPs don't seem to want to come to Ipswich.

"And the younger GPs don't seem to want to work the hours we did. They seem to want to work three days."

AMA Queensland figures show 33.5 per cent of GPs throughout Australia aged over 55 in 2007-08 compared to 25. …

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