Bendigo Primary Care Centre has employed more administration staff to answer calls from unwell locals but is still forced to turn away up to 250 people each morning.
General manager Steve Cooper said appointments at Primary Care fill within the first 45 minutes each morning.
"We try to capture as many calls as we can and get them into appointments but after about 30 or 45 minutes the appointments are full," he said. "We are turning away between 200 and 250 people each morning.
"On (an average) day we are probably seeing over 400 patients and (have) about 30,000 regulars and 15,000 visiting patients over the year."
Dr Cooper said the centre could take on that capacity if it had more doctors. Currently there are 19 doctors working at the Bendigo Primary Care Centre.
"We could fill that amount (200 people) if we were at capacity or had more doctors," he said. "We probably need another four or five doctors. Not all our doctors work full time. We could take another five part-time doctors and four full-time GP registrars."
Dr Cooper's concerns about the general practitioner shortage in Bendigo come as federal opposition health minister Chris Bowen and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters visited a number of health facilities in Bendigo on Wednesday including Bendigo Health, Bendigo Primary Care Centre and the La Trobe Rural Health School.
"One of most alarming things (we were) told today was that Bendigo Primary Care has hired extra people to work in the mornings to take calls and say 'sorry we have no doctors to see you'," Ms Chesters said.
"To hear that (some) Bendigo clinics have closed their books and you cant get an appointment to see a GP, that was an issue we had in 2004 and it's back again. That demonstrates the crisis we are (in) locally."
Mr Bowen said a lack of GPs in regional areas would have effects on other rural communities.
"One of primary health care providers was talking about GP shortages, it has flow-on effects right through the system," he said.
"There's two complementary issues. Firstly fewer doctors are becoming GPs, more are doing other things and that means the pool of GPs for rural areas is reducing, we need to think about that as a country.
"Then we need to ensure we have proper systems in place to encourage doctors to work in rural settings.
"The issues here in Bendigo are what I see everywhere I go in rural Australia. The point I make is if you are having trouble getting GPs to Bendigo, then certainly have you will have trouble getting them to much smaller centres which are important as well. It needs to be part of the policy solution which we're thinking through."
Dr Cooper said he would like to see subsidies for GPs who come to regional areas.
"GPs aren't that highly paid, a lot specialise because they can earn more," he said.
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