Close up of flu vacination.   Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin.
Close up of flu vacination. Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin. Chris Ison ROK170412cflu1

Doctors too sick to see patients in bad flu season

SOME Gladstone doctors are too ill to treat patients as the region continues to be run down by this year's flu season.

In the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service area there have been 1427 confirmed flu victims since the start of this year, making it one of the worst CQ flu seasons in recent years.

In comparison, the year-to-date average of confirmed flu victims for the region was 300.

House Call Doctor general manager James Wood said this year's flu season was particularly bad and had increased demand on all medical services.

He said doctors on the frontline were also falling ill, impacting the service's availability.

"We understand it can be frustrating when a medical service is fully booked and you and/or your family are unwell," he said.

Mr Wood said Gladstone was one of 16 areas serviced by the home doctor and more than 23,023 calls from across the region had been made since it started on August1, 2015.

A nationwide recruitment drive began in June to try to roster extra doctors to help keep up with demand.

"Patients with flu-like symptoms should be making appointments with their regular daytime GP as the after-hours service is for urgent medical care," he said.

"We are continually working on ways to have more local GPs support the service, especially during peak demand periods."

Earlier this month a Central Queensland engineer, Austin Grillmeier, died from the flu.

The "healthy and active" 74-year-old was struck down by the flu just two weeks before his death.

This year there have been 37,000 cases of the flu reported in Queensland and 84 people have died.