Boyanup residents renew call for doctor to come to town

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Boyanup pharmacist Chen Ooi talks about how to bring a doctor to town with Boyanup Progress Association's Michelle Elson.
Camera IconBoyanup pharmacist Chen Ooi talks about how to bring a doctor to town with Boyanup Progress Association's Michelle Elson. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Boyanup residents are hoping a grassroots campaign will attract a doctor willing to set up in town after two-year-old plans for a doctor’s surgery fell through.

Boyanup Progress Association’s Michelle Elson has installed signs on a vacant block belonging to the town’s pharmacist Chen Ooi saying a doctor is needed in the ageing South West community.

Mrs Elson said for the past couple of years there had been a doctor’s surgery “coming soon”.

“A building and site had been bought on the main road but it never eventuated,” she said.

“Finally in the last few months they declared they weren’t coming at all.”

According to 2016 Census data, the median age of Boyanup’s 1200 residents is 44, eight years older than the State median. Children younger than 14 made up 20.5 per cent of the population, while 16 per cent were over 65.

Mrs Elson is also the general manager of the town’s over-65 community, Meadowbrooke Lifestyle Estate.

“We’ve got 25 residents at the moment and eventually we’ll have about 300,” she said.

“In general there is already an ageing population here, and as the lifestyle estate grows, it will age even more.”

Mr Ooi said he had been waiting for five years for a doctor to base themselves in the community and he would offer up his vacant block in order for them to do so.

He said he often had customers travel from Dardanup who would also prefer to visit a Boyanup-based GP.

“We’re in the middle of a triangle where there should be a lot more services,” he said.

“I know that because there are no medical facilities here, people have made the decision to move elsewhere.

“A doctor would be a good start.”

Residents are required to travel 20 minutes in either direction on South Western Highway to reach their nearest doctor.

“I live and work, here but for me to go to the doctor’s I have to go either before or after work because it is at least an hour out of my day,” Mrs Elson said.

She said she hoped erecting the signs on the busy road would attract a doctor to town.

“Someone might know someone, who might know someone who is in the health industry,” she said.

“Then at that point they might think it’s interesting and come to us to have a chat.”

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