After eight months Barry finds a doctor
BARRY Gracey had almost lost hope.
The 52-year-old is a TPI (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated) pensioner due to his army service and he has major medical problems.
He says he's spent the past eight months since moving here from Brisbane trying to get in to see a GP in Coffs Harbour, but he's hit a brick wall at every turn.
"I've been going around the doctors' surgeries and I've found nearly every one has closed its books. They've got that many patients they can't take on too many more," Barry said.
"I've wanted to establish a rapport with a GP. I haven't wanted to use the hospital system because it's not designed for every man and his dog to access a GP, and you wouldn't want to use the Bray Street after-hours service on a regular basis, but these have been my only options here."
Any time Barry has needed to see a doctor, he's had to wait to visit one in Brisbane during his trips to the specialist, which happen every four to five weeks.
It's been far from satisfactory ? he recently came down with a bad cold, but because it wasn't seen to, it developed into pneumonia.
Good news finally came through this week when Coffs Harbour's Red and White Medical Centre took him on, after his full-time carer pleaded his case.
"It's been very frustrating and I've been very stressed," Barry said.
"Normally, men don't like to go and see a doctor, but if they need to, their frustration levels go up when they can't get in.
"It shouldn't take eight months to find a doctor. It seems anyone moving here has to use the hospital if they want medical help. Coffs Harbour is a lovely place to retire to, and because many of these people are elderly, they do have medical problems."