Dear Doctors

Stitched by: BB

Pattern designed by: Pattern by me, words by Edie R.

I was inspired to create this piece after reading a letter by an eight-year-old girl living in a small country town on the Eyre Peninsula. She wrote a letter to ‘all the doctors in Australia’, begging someone to be a doctor for their town. You can read her letter here:

I share this little girl’s sentiment. I grew up in a small country town and with my parents and grandmother still living there and needing better access to health care as they get older, I adapted the letter to include all South Australian regional and remote towns. There is a significant shortage of health care services in the country and people are needlessly dying as a result. I can name several people this year alone that have passed away. If they had lived in Adelaide, their rate of survival would have been significantly higher. Small country hospitals are struggling, their staff are under-resourced, and local ambulance volunteers are often on call 24/7. There are so many fantastic reasons to live in the country, but without services nearby, no one wants to move there. Towns aren’t having any luck recruiting anyone to fill the gaps, despite often offering homes, to cover utility bills, providing vehicles and more. The vicious cycle continues. And this doesn’t just include doctors. The wait to access mental health services is far longer than in the city.

I am sick and tired (pun very much intended) of hearing stories of poor health and heartbreak from country towns in South Australia. I am very angry that people in the country are not a higher priority for so many things (health care, transport, jobs, infrastructure, education, etc). The government needs to get off their arse and commit to supporting South Australians in regional, rural and remote areas.

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