Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has pledged to work with Mallacoota community members concerned about the lack of 24-hour access to health care.
Mr Chester has visited Mallacoota, where he met with residents worried about the gap in local health care services.
“It is very concerning that older residents often have to leave Mallacoota because of a lack of health services,” Mr Chester said.
“Both locals and visitors are at risk of serious consequences if they are injured or fall ill outside the existing practice hours.
“It is unrealistic to expect the doctors to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week without additional funding for practice nurses to support their efforts.
“I will work with the community to pressure the state and federal governments to improve services in Mallacoota, one of our most remote communities.”
Around-the-clock emergency care is available at Orbost, more than 140 kilometres away, or at Bega, almost the same distance away across the border in New South Wales.
Mr Chester said the situation had caused considerable stress for a number of locals.
“For many residents and visitors, Mallacoota’s isolation and its environment are some of its attractions,” Mr Chester said.
“But for many, this isolation is a source of considerable stress. People are worried because they don’t know who will be available to help them in a health crisis and how long it will take for them to get the help they need.
“For some, that uncertainty has been just too much and they’ve moved away from Mallacoota to somewhere else with a more comprehensive medical service.”