6 Apr 2012

Adelaide clinic to open for GPs

7:56 pm on 6 April 2012

Doctors in South Australia are starting a clinic in Adelaide specifically for other doctors to seek treatment face-to-face.

Studies have shown that two in five doctors in South Australia do not have a GP - far less than the Australian population average.

That means doctors can become run down and stressed and that has implications for patient care.

Help lines exist in every state and territory, but the ABC reports their use has dropped since a new national scheme forced doctors to report sick colleagues.

The clinic will by ready by mid-April. It will open for four hours, two nights per week, and all day on Saturdays to fit around normal working hours for doctors seeking a check-up.

Dr Roger Sexton will be one of those who will work at the clinic.

''There are doctors who are quite happy seeing other doctors, and other doctors who may be a little bit uncomfortable about it," he said.

''Those doctors who don't have their own doctor clearly need something more than just their own treatment.''

Self-employed GPs were the least likely to have a doctor.

Dr Sexton says that is sometimes because of professional pride or just discomfort.

''Things like being embarrassed, for example, knowing when the right time is to go see the doctor,'' he said.

''There's also issues about doctors who work very hard and who may not have the time in the daytime to go to a doctor, so there's a number of things that have stopped doctors having their own doctor.''

Dr Sexton says the clinic has caught the eye of those in other states.