Doctor services in the remote South Australian town of Streaky Bay are maintained through raffles, community fundraising and council contributions.
This scenario was described by Jonas Woolford at a senate inquiry into the provision of general practitioner and related primary health services around Australia.
The committee sat in Whyalla at the Alexander Motel on Tuesday and heard from Mr Woolford, who is chairman of the Streaky Bay Medical Clinic.
It was the only hearing by the committee in South Australia.
Mr Woolford was questioned by New South Wales Labor Senator Deborah O'Neill about how Streaky Bay, on Eyre Peninsula, had reacted to the lack of a doctor for the town and district.
He replied that when he heard the clinic was going to close, he attended a public meeting with 300 people.
The meeting had adopted an action plan and the Streaky Bay Council stepped in with a rate increase to contribute to a $200,000 loan while the Council took over for four-to-five months until they set up an association to run it.
From May 2018, for the first two years, locum doctors were funded at $2000 a day to serve the community before Doctor Victoria Bradley, a new doctor, joined the service.
"We are running at a $25,000 a quarter loss," Mr Woolford said.
"There needs to be more emphasis on attracting people into the general practitioner area.
"It seems a lot of doctors are specialising and do not want to be burdened by the on-call (demands), it is not a nice career."
He said that sometimes doctors coming into country towns had to work with "archaic" equipment.
Mr Woolford said it would have been "inconceivable" that the town could be left without medical services with the closest health provision being at Ceduna, many kilometres away.
Senator O'Neill asked Mr Woolford about the $200,000 loan from the community, to which Mr Woolford replied it had mostly been raised through a rate increase imposed by the council.
She asked him whether raffles, community fundraising and council contributions had allowed the clinic to survive, to which Mr Woolford replied yes.
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