WHILE Bulahdelah continues to struggle without a full-time doctor, it can be revealed that its sole GP Dr Adel Habashy has been practising in Sydney.
His patients in Bulahdelah have been without a full-time doctor for more than eight months since he went on sick leave in September 2011.
While the NOTA could not contact Dr Habashy directly his son, Mitchell Habashy came to his defence.
He said while he understood it had been hard for the people of Bulahdelah they needed to be aware there was a variety of "complex personal reasons" for his father's decision.
He said his father's doctor was quite reluctanant for him to go back to Bulahdelah with the duties of the nursing home, hospital and being a GP.
"He has been working in Sydney on a very low capacity. Sometimes he has only been seeing four patients a day," he said.
However he did admit that in hindsight his father should have been more transparent with his patients back in Bulahdelah.
State Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said Dr Habashy had let the community down with his decision to abandon them after they had supported his practice for more than 20 years.
"Although it is doctor Habashy's prerogative to practice where he chooses, it is extremely disappointing to the people of Bulahdelah that he has mislead the residents after indications that he would return to the town after the recovery of his surgery," Mr Bromhead said. Mr Bromhead said he has advised Hunter New England Health of the situation with Dr Habashy and he would continue to work closely with Hunter New England Health to find a permanent doctor for the town.