Following intense lobbying by federal MPs, a Senate inquiry will now examine the delivery of health services to outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australians, with particular regard to localised shortages of general practitioners.
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee will conduct the inquiry and is seeking input from people who live in communities where there is poor access to GP services.
Member for Longman, Terry Young, who since his election two years ago has been a strong advocate for an inquiry, said he had been speaking to government ministers about issues some Longman residents are having getting access to a GP and that there were currently several clinics on Bribie Island that were at capacity and needed more GPs.
“Yet there are also at least six recently-appointed GPs servicing the area and there are four separate clinics which are taking on new patients,” Mr Young said.
“These are Bribie Island Medical Centre, Bribie Doctors, Goodwin Drive Medical Centre and Bribie Doctors Banksia Beach.
“A couple of months ago I held a video conference with local doctors, the Primary Health Network (PHN) and Minister for Regional Health David Gillespie on this very issue.
“I welcome this Senate enquiry and encourage all interested parties to engage in this process.”
The inquiry will examine government reforms and policies including the Distribution Priority Area (DPA), GP training reforms, the Medicare rebate freeze and more. It will also look at the impact that COVID-19 has had on doctor numbers.
More information, including how to make a submission, is available at www.terryyoung.com.au/senate-inquiry-to-address-gp-shortages.
Local residents who require some assistance making their submission can contact Mr Young’s office at 5432 3177 or email firstname.lastname@example.org