KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, says doctor attraction and retention are key to reducing the doctor shortage in rural and regional Australia.
The Katter's Australian Party (KAP) MP, wants medical graduates to complete two years' service in the regions immediately after they graduate to attract them to the regions.
Mr Katter also wants the Federal Government to pay doctors serving in rural and regional areas an extra $80,000 a year to retain them.
"Under the Bjelke-Petersen Qld Government that I was a Minister in, we never had doctor shortages because if you wanted to become a doctor in Queensland you did your two years in the regions," Mr Katter said.
"It really is not that difficult a problem, the governments must act. It will not be a great cost to the taxpayer. It won't be a lot of money.
"People are in pain waiting for doctors. People are dying waiting for doctors. The answers are there right now.
Mr Katter took a delegation of general practitioners from his electorate including Dr Grant Manypeney (Mareeba), Dr Rod Catton (Innisfail) and Dr Lisa Fraser (Gordonvale) down to Canberra to discuss these issues with the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, in June last year.
"Two of the doctors in my electorate, Grant Manypeney from Mareeba and Rod Catton from Innisfail, are working into their 70s," Mr Katter said.
"They are still working because they don't want to let their communities down.
"Which ever party forms government this Saturday must act to implement policies that will attract and retain doctors to rural and regional areas."
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