THERE is a huge demand for general practitioners in Nollamara according to a pharmacist who is pushing for a medical centre to be set up in the suburb.
Pharmacy 777 Nollamara proprietor Swarup “Sam” Afsar said he hoped to see a centre that housed three full-time general practitioners, pathology and after hours services and featured bulk billing, set up in Nollamara by the end of the year.
“There is higher density housing in Nollamara but services haven’t increased to keep up with that,” he said.
“We’ve had the same two doctors operating in the area for the last eight years at least; they’re both full all the time.
Mr Afsar said residents often travelled to Mirrabooka, Morley and even Lansdale to see a doctor, which was difficult if the patient was elderly, sick or had to catch public transport.
He said 51 per cent of Nollamara residents’ first language was not English, so the potential centre would cater to different languages.
“We will need to get in doctors who can speak other languages to communicate and to fill the role quite well,” he said.
Mr Afsar said it would be beneficial if the centre housed a doctor who prescribed as part of the Community Program for Opioid Pharmacotherapy.
He said there was a large demand for it and patients currently had to travel to Stirling or the city to receive support.
“(The travel) might actually put off people who want to give up drug abuse,” he said.
East Metropolitan MLC Amber-Jade Sanderson said the creation of the centre, set to go before Stirling City Council soon, would be an important community service.
“Nollamara is significantly under-served by GPs and the social economic status of many living in the area means that bulk billing practices are in high demand,” she said.
“This practice will increase access to affordable health care for all Nollamara residents, in particular low income and those from diverse ethnic backgrounds.”