GP STALL: David McDermott of Cooran gets a check-up.
GP STALL: David McDermott of Cooran gets a check-up. Peter Gardiner

Medics' market stall brings doctors to the people

HE LOOKS the picture of health as he has his blood pressure taken at the Eumundi Markets' AMA Health Hub, but Cooran's David McDermott is one of the alarming 20% of Australians who have not bothered to see a GP in the past 12 months.

Except in David's case, make that no doctor consultation for decades.

"The last time I saw my GP was probably about 20 years ago," he said during his spur-of-the-moment decision to make amends.

"No harm for a check-up."

Complacency is just one of the reasons AMA Queensland Council of Doctors medic Malcolm Forbes and colleague Dr Thomas Boosey have set up the market stall.

A lack of spare time is also a major reason for Coast residents ignoring the chance for some possible life-saving early interventions.

Another is the totally discredited conspiracy theory that having childhood vaccinations can lead to autism.

Dr Boosey said it was important to keep vaccinations up to date.

On the Sunshine Coast, only 89% of children at age five were fully immunised.

Eumundi is the first trial of the AMA Health Hub and market-goers lined up early to have blood pressure taken and body mass indexes recorded, to see what health risks they may be facing.

"On the Coast, 61% of people are overweight or obese, so it is an area we want to target to see who has early stages of diabetes or heart disease who aren't going to see their GPs," Dr Forbes said.