Lack of GPs forces Cardwell Family Practice to shut the doors

11 July 2023

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto.

State Member for Hinchinbrook and Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto, was saddened and disappointed upon hearing the Cardwell Family Practice intends to cease trading as of Friday, 1 September 2023 resulting from the General Practitioner (GP) shortage.

Cardwell is a small coastal town in the Hinchinbrook electorate located between Tully and Ingham with a population of approximately 1,300 people, 76 per cent of residents are over the age of 50.

The lack of GPS and support from both State and Federal Governments were the reasons for the looming closure cited by Cardwell Family Practices owners, Carmon Edmondson and Julie Mckay.

The Hinchinbrook MP stated his office has been inundated with inquiries regarding the impending closure of Cardwell Family Practice.

“Cardwell Family Practice has been a cornerstone of the local community, providing essential medical services to locals for many years. The closure will undoubtedly create significant challenges for residents who rely on its services, particularly those who may have limited mobility or transportation options,” Mr Dametto said.

“The strain of the closure will be felt by the Cardwell Ambulance Station and medical practices and hospitals located from Tully to Ingham.

“Sadly, it will be the patients that feel it the most as they will be required to find another practice that is taking new patients and need to travel approximately 40 minutes to Ingham or Tully to receive medical care from a GP.

“Fortunately, the Ingham Family Medical Practice owner, Dr. Brett Scott, has indicated that he will take over the care of patients at the Churches of Christ, Rockingham Aged Care facility and Hinchinbrook Health Care and Tully Medical have advised they can take on new patients. However, these practices are also struggling to recruit doctors and will find it difficult to take on another practice’s patients.

“Every Queenslander has the right to access health services, so it is now up to Queensland Health to address this medical crisis. I have written to the Health Minister, the Hon. Shannon Fentiman, seeking assistance to create a united action plan to address the dire situation facing Cardwell.

“I understand the concerns and anxieties this closure will generate within our community, and I want to assure Cardwell residents that I am committed to working with Cardwell Family Practice, Queensland Health, Townsville Hospital and Health Board and all relevant stakeholders to find a solution.

“I encourage affected residents to share their experiences and concerns with our office. Your feedback will assist in shaping our advocacy efforts and ensuring that your voices are heard by the State Government.

“On behalf of the Hinchinbrook electorate and residents of Cardwell, thank you to Carmon Edmondson, Julie Mckay and your wonderful staff for your hard work and dedication over the years to provide medical services for Cardwell patients. We must find a solution, too many people in Cardwell depend on having a local GP.”



Nick Dametto MP