Patients turn to local GP after floods

Earlier this year, the Queensland floods devastated the homes, property and livelihoods of hundreds of people – none more so than those of the residents of the Lockyer Valley, where flash flooding also claimed close to 20 lives.

In the small town of Withcott, in the Lockyer Valley, local GP Dr Janus Van Heerden has been working hard to help his community recover, but the toll of the floods will be a lasting one. 

“I had patients coming in here saying that they had lost everything and asking ‘Where should I start – what should I do next?’,” he says. “I saw a lot of mental health problems, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and children who had seen way too much.” 

Some children had watched helplessly as neighbours were washed away in the floods, while others saw cars that they knew had people inside carried away under bridges. 

“It will take these people months