AN Australian town is offering £281,000 and a free house for a qualified GP – but no wants the job.
Council officials of a small town in Queensland have pleaded for a trained doctor to take the role after the community was left without a working practitioner.
Deputy Mayor of McKinlay Shire Council, Janene Fegan, told NCA NewsWire that the jaw-dropping salary package was offered up to three months ago.
The job includes a salary of up to £281,000 and a rent-free house on a decent-sized block of land.
In total they they’ve been looking for a permanent GP for around 18 months, but it appears that no one has answered the call.
As a result, residents of Julia Creek have been forced to rely on temporary doctors who have been flying in to see residents for two days a week.
While those who have needed to see a GP on the other five days of the week have been left with option but to drive two hours to receive treatment.
Ms Fegan, who is a trained nurse herself, say locals have become desperate for the return of a permanent doctor who can issue urgent care when it’s needed.
“If you had a sick child in the middle of the night, they might have to send you on,” she explained.
“And some things aren’t quite serious enough to need an ambulance, but serious enough that you want care quickly.”
So far, the council said they have received two applicants for the role, but both requested a fly-in, fly-out arrangement.
And Fegan believes the community has only gotten without a doctor for so long through the sheer good will of neighbours.
According to local media, many young doctors have been reticent to take up jobs in regional or rural areas in Australia because they fear there are no work opportunities for their romantic partners.
Consequentially, some rural districts have even offered qualified GPs three times the going rate for their services.
Fegan admitted that “lifestyle” plays a major factor when it comes to attracting young recruits.
But she confirmed the council would commit to providing the new GP’s partner with employment should they desire it.
“We would definitely make all our effort to find something suitable,” she added.
“And also with the internet, you don’t need to work in the city anymore.”
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