WHILE much of Australia is crying out for rural GPs, one bush doctor faces having her business shut down.
Gosford City Council will tonight decide the fate of Dr Christine Wade, having already taken her to court over zoning issues, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Dr Wade is one of two GPs servicing the Central Coast plateau - an area encompassing about 4500 people from the rural townships of Mangrove Mountain, Central Mangrove and Peats Ridge - 45 minutes northwest of Gosford.
Dr Wade opened a practice in the main street of Mangrove Mountain in 2004 but was evicted last year, forcing her to relocate to a demountable on her property 1.5km out of town.
But Gosford City Council served a notice to stop her operating and tear down the demountable because a medical centre was not permitted under her property's rural 1(a) zoning.
The council then launched action in the Land and Environment Court.
"This is about a community desperate for a GP after the last one moved out in 2002 because of burn out and fatigue," Dr Wade said.
In an 11th-hour bid, Dr Wade lodged a planning proposal with the council, which could defer the matter to the State Government for approval under "exceptional circumstances" through the Government's "gateway" process.
But a report before tonight's council meeting recommends councillors vote to reject the planning proposal from a "strategic planning perspective" because the doctor's surgery is incompatible with the zoning.
Mountain Districts Association spokesman Neil Berecry-Brown said closing Dr Wade's multi-disciplinary practice down was "incomprehensible".
He said it would force elderly patients and young mums to travel long distances to queue at coastal practices or clog over-crowded emergency departments.
Gosford mayor Lawrie McKinna said council was doing its best to help Dr Wade "but there's obviously the rules and regulations we have to follow".
Read more at the Daily Telegraph