Wiradjuri man and newly-minted Federal Robertson MP Gordon Reid wants to see a change in healthcare to better serve the public in his NSW Central Coast electorate on Darkinjung country.
Mr Reid won the seat for Labor in the May election with a 6.5 percent swing away from the Liberal party’s Lucy Wicks.
The 29-year-old emergency department doctor saw the strain put on health workers and patients in his area during the pandemic, sparking his intention to run in the bellwether seat.
Seeing COVID patients, people with chronic illnesses, domestic violence sufferers and other disadvantaged people all in the one hospital unable to provide them the right support was enough for him to make the jump.
“You just kind of think at some point well, you know, we can be doing to be better than that,” Mr Reid said.
“That shift happened and then they just kept happening and I thought well, I can either sit here and complain about it or I can I can do something about it.”
The Central Coast has regularly elected MP’s with health, public servant and teaching backgrounds.
Mr Reid said “real world” experience translated to agendas directed toward critical issues in the community.
“That can help inform policy policy creation and policy decision making,” Mr Reid said.
“What I’d like to see happen on the Central Coast, particularly in the health sphere is and like I’ve been saying over the campaign, it’s making it easier and cheaper to see a doctor.
“Making sure that health care remains accessible to anyone.”
Seeing the area classified as a distribution priority area would mean a re-shaped model of health, plugging a gap between GP’s and emergency care with two of Labor’s 50 promised Medicare urgent care clinics.
It would see an established clinic in both Robertson and the division of Dobell in the north, held by Labor’s Emma McBride.
“It is a proven and tested model in other countries like the UK and Canada,” Mr Reid said.
“It’s looking at things that are a bit outside the box in order to take pressure off our healthcare systems, at least in the local sense.”
Mr Reid said the area becoming a DPA would benefit the significant numbers of First Nations people coming into emergency departments of local hospitals.
Supporting local Indigenous health services and community groups, such as Minagaletta in Umina, is something Mr Reid like to oversee as part of the broader role of making sure First Nations people were seen and heard with a Voice to Parliament, treaty and truth telling commission with Labor’s Indigenous caucus.
“It’s working with those community groups to make sure that we’re getting the best outcomes for our First Nations people here on the coast.”
Mr Reid was formally declared the member for Robertson on Friday afternoon.