The Bombala community has been hit for six with news that the town’s GP clinic will soon close its door.
I’ve written to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt asking for an urgent solution and will be working with my local counterparts in the NSW Government to find a solution that covers Bombala now and into the future.
Without a fix, residents will be forced to travel 2 to 3 hours to see a doctor in Cooma, Jindabyne, Bega or Merimbula. Services already under pressure.
The issues facing local doctors are nothing new. The solutions put forward over the last eight years of this government just aren’t doing the job.
Local GPs right across Eden-Monaro tell me that small GP clinics are no longer viable. The expenses and compliance requirements mean that the big corporates are taking over GP clinics in the city, sadly they have no interest in rural areas, because the business model doesn’t stack up.
The only thing keeping GP clinics going in some of our local towns is the dedication and community spirit of doctors, nurses and staff. The pressure on these people is not healthy or fair.
It’s only a matter of time before more local communities are left without a doctor. There is also real fear that local aged care facilities will be left with no medical cover.
It all adds up to increased pressure on local hospitals and the doctors that do remain; the system is at breaking point.
Today I’ve launched a petition on my website asking the Morrison Government to better support local doctors. We need to keep and attract new GPs to regional communities and I invite the community to lend their name to this campaign.
Sign the petition HERE.
The Morrison Government carries the responsibility for supporting and growing Australia’s GP network. They need to ensure that regional Australians have access to health care, right now they’re failing – especially so in the middle of a global pandemic.
As one local doctor told me, “Rural medicine is a statewide disaster.”
Media contact: Ian Campbell, phone 0417 482 171