A MINYIP resident wants answers from Tristar Medical Group, saying the ongoing absence of a doctor in the town is having a "domino effect" on the region.
Ian Bullock, 65, has to see doctors regularly for blood tests and another illness.
He said Minyip residents were having to use public or community-run transport options to attend appointments in Horsham after the one GP servicing his town, Murtoa and Rupanyup left the region in May. The doctor has not been replaced.
"There is a system in place - a volunteer driving service run by Minyip Community Centre - that takes people to appointments which they otherwise wouldn't be able to get to. But it doesn't change the fact a doctor is still needed in the area," he said.
Mr Bullock said some residents relied on public transport to attend medical appointments in Horsham.
"Anyone that gets the Donald-to-Horsham bus, if they can't get an appointment on the day, they need to go there between the time the bus gets there and leaves, they're going to get left behind or not get there in time and will need to reschedule," he said.
West Wimmera Health Service chief executive Ritchie Dodds told the Mail-Times on August 20 that he was in talks with another medical group to provide GP services to Murtoa, Minyip and Rupanyup. Tristar has previously leased space for its GP in each town from the health service.
Mr Bullock questioned what Tristar had done to help the towns adjust to not having a doctor.
"Tristar would have known at some point the plug was going to be pulled, and I would have thought they would have had something in place so it would have been a smooth transition," he said.
"People in country areas deserve the same sort of services as people in Melbourne get. It has a domino effect right across the district. If you're a retiree or someone with a family who wants to live in the country, you need a doctor there."
Mr Bullock said Tristar's Warracknabeal clinic was sold in June, but there hadn't been any doctor there for 18 months.
The number for the Warracknabeal Medical Centre on Scott Street, out of which Tristar operated in town, continues to operate. Tristar's website shows the Warracknabeal centre's opening hours as 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Mr Bullock said it would be frustrating if residents phoned Tristar wanting to see a doctor, only to find out there wasn't one.
The Mail-Times has put a series of questions to Tristar Medical Group's clinical services director Anne Gardner, but did not receive a response prior to deadline.
Former Rupanyup resident David Craker experiences chronic pain from a neck injury he suffered after falling from a roof two years ago. Now living in Bairnsdale, he said he moved away in 2018 hoping for better medical services.
"Some things are fantastic in the Wimmera if you're on a pension, but the nearest doctors to Rupanyup are in Stawell or Lister House in Horsham," he said.
"Unless you're an existing patient at Lister House, it's hard to get in there. We've been dealing with this problem for the last five or 10 years, doing things like asking doctors to come out of retirement.
"I've found doctors are easily attainable (in Bairnsdale) but there are waiting lists of two years, whereas if you contact Horsham hospital you can get something in two weeks."
Rob Phillips, manager of Horsham's Lister House medical clinic, confirmed there had been an increase in patients from areas beyond Horsham since the time Tristar's GP left Murtoa, Minyip and Rupanyup.
"It has had an impact on our workload in terms of extra phone calls," he said.
Member for Mallee Anne Webster met with Tristar's chief executive Dr Khaled El-Sheikh recently.
A spokesman for Dr Webster said she was having conversations with state and federal departments about programs being developed to bring more doctors to rural areas.