By Georgia Tacey
State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has used the adjournment in parliament to raise awareness of the shortage of dermatologists in regional Victoria.
The shortage has a significant impact on access to specialist healthcare, with many residents across northern Victoria having to travel to Melbourne for treatment.
On the Health Direct website, only two dermatologists are listed in the Shepparton area, with the next closest options being Bendigo or Albury.
Skin conditions affect one in three children aged six or under, and eczema is one of the top 10 most common diseases in Australia.
The lack of services in regional Victoria is causing more families to travel to receive the treatment they need.
“We can all agree that watching your child suffer is one of the most difficult things you can do as a parent, but for many families in regional Victoria, it is a daily reality that the state government needs to address,” Ms Lovell said.
“I have called on the minister to develop a strategy to address the shortage of dermatologists in regional Victoria and also to provide assistance to families who are being forced to travel to Melbourne for treatment.”
Only six per cent of dermatologists work in regional communities, with shortages expected to grow across Australia by 2030.