HELPING combat neurological issues is one of the first challenges Dr Geoffrey Boyce wants to tackle in Hervey Bay.

The first practising neurologist to set up in Hervey Bay, Dr Boyce hopes to work with local support groups to bring awareness of neurological issues affecting Australians.

It isn't the first time Dr Boyce has visited the region, having come to Hervey bay for the past 60 years and also having family that live in the area.

Neurologist - Dr. Geoffrey Boyce at St. Stephen's Hospital.
Neurologist - Dr. Geoffrey Boyce at St. Stephen's Hospital. Alistair Brightman

"I came to Scarness back in the 1950s, and I've been visiting the region ever since," he said.

"My wife wasn't ready for the move several years ago, but we decided that now was the time to come. I'm not fond of the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast; it's very convenient living here."

His local history aside, Dr Boyce stated there was a growing need for a neurology practice in an area like Hervey Bay.

"Working on American statistics, they have 1 neurologist for about 40,000 people - Hervey Bay has roughly 110,000," he said.

"There really should be three neurologists here.

"A neurologist in Bundaberg has been there for roughly eight years, and he now has a waiting list of nine months.

"We're pretty close to a good lifestyle in Hervey Bay; we're almost at a stage where we can re-create a lifestyle pattern which promotes longevity and better health."

But it's not so much neurological issues that are affecting most Australians nowadays, according to Dr Boyce; it's lifestyle issues as well.

He said one of the biggest issues facing Australians was what they could do for themselves.

"Exercise and living a healthy life helps prevent neurological illnesses like dementia, and other related issues," he said.

"I think the main issue is that doctors, whether neurologists or health practitioners, are looking at lifestyle issues that affect everyone."

He also hopes the success of bringing awareness to neurological issues will mean an increase in a team of neuroscientists, and hopefully a neurosurgery in several year's time.

"You've only got to see the road trauma and the number of people who need back operations," Dr Boyce said.

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