Flu sparks a hunt for doctors in Gladstone
A HOME doctor service is on a recruitment drive in Gladstone to help cope with increased demand as the flu season worsens.
The House Call Doctor has treated 100 patients for flu-like symptoms in Gladstone so far this year.
Chief executive officer Wayne Ormond said during last year's flu season doctors from Brisbane and interstate were flown to areas such as Gladstone to meet patient demand and help take pressure off the emergency department.
With this season expected to be just as busy, House Call Doctor is looking for more doctors.
"House Call Doctor already has extra doctors rostered on more shifts and with the worst of the flu season ahead of us, we are putting the call out for more doctors to join the service to help cope with patient demand at night and on weekends," Mr Ormond said.
Queensland Health data shows already Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service has treated 519 people for influenza this year.
The figures are much higher than the average of 142 patients for January to June.
This week the Australian Medical Association said there was still time to get your flu vaccine.
"It is very important for anyone who hasn't had their flu vaccine to get it as soon as possible," Dr Richard Kidd, chair of the AMA council of general practice, told news.com.au.
He said the peak was usually between July and September.
"That's when we get the biggest numbers by far - and the worst is yet to come," he warned. "That's the pattern we see year in, year out."
"Last year we were expecting a horror flu season but it didn't happen - it looks like we're getting it this year instead."
Each year there are 30 or more flu strains.