Mackay Base Hospital’s permanent urologist is on emergent leave and it has been employing a locum urologist. Photo: Daryl Wright
Mackay Base Hospital’s permanent urologist is on emergent leave and it has been employing a locum urologist. Photo: Daryl Wright

Mackay feeling the pain of national specialist shortage

MACKAY Base Hospital is struggling to recruit specialists to treat conditions of the urinary tract and male reproductive system due to a national shortage.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Jo Whitehead said there was a lack of urologists willing to practise in regional areas like Mackay.

Urologists treat problems of the kidneys, bladder, urethra and adrenal glands as well as other health problems including prostate and testicular cancer.

Mackay hospital's permanent urologist is on emergent leave and, in the meantime, it has been employing a locum urologist and partnering with private urologists to treat patients.

"The health service is attempting to recruit an additional urologist; however, two advertising campaigns have been unsuccessful," Ms Whitehead said.

"We are continuing our recruitment efforts and will continue to work with our locums and other health services."

She said MHHS was working with its referral hospital, the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, to accommodate additional patients if needed.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kieran Keyes said Townsville was not the referral centre for urology patients from Mackay.


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