Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP is pleased to advise the topic of regional health services and the ongoing shortage of rural GPs was appropriately highlighted in Parliament today, and that the motion moved in his name was carried by the House.
“My motion today recognising the serious shortage of doctors in regional areas commanded the attention of the House of Assembly for most of the duration of this morning’s session.
“Attracting and retaining medical workforces in regional areas is a critical issue for our State and I appreciated debate contributions by multiple MPs including from Frome, Giles, Chafey, Flinders, Hartley, Heysen, Kavel, Mt Gambier, Schubert, MacKillop, Mawson, Unley and Hammond, as well as support and amendments from Minister for Health the Hon. Chris Picton MP.
“The intent of the motion, which I am proud to advise was carried albeit with amendments, is to trigger renewed focus and collective, proactive effort for solutions that address doctor and nurse shortages across the country.
“I now fervently hope that this crucial work now begins”.
The Ellis Motion read:
That this House -
(a) recognises the serious shortage of doctors and other medical staff in regional South Australia;
(b) acknowledges that regional South Australians are just as worthy of access to quality health care as those in metropolitan areas;
(c) notes that incentivising doctors in regional South Australia has not worked and that it is time to guarantee it;
(d) calls on the State Government to ensure the equal distribution of General Practitioner doctors around regional South Australia, now and in the future; and
(e) calls on the State Government to establish a dedicated Department of Regional Health to support access to quality health care across South Australia.
The ultimately carried amended Ellis Motion, supported by the government, altered points c) d) e) as follows:
- c) notes that previous approaches to incentivising doctors in regional South Australia has not worked and that it is time for new strategies;
- d) calls on the State Government to work with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the equitable distribution of General Practitioner doctors around regional South Australia, now and in the future; and
- e) calls on the State Government to work with regional clinicians and communities and regional Local Health Network Boards to support access to quality health care across South Australia.
“Whilst the State Government did not support my call to establish a dedicated Department of Regional Health, I am pleased the bulk of my motion was carried.
“It is crucial that there be equal distribution of doctors across all corners of the State, leading to equitable access to health services for all, regardless of whether you live in the city or the country.
“We cannot have a proliferation of GPs servicing certain areas of the State, and not have any GPs in other areas.
“As stated in my speech, it is no exaggeration to say that regional health care is the issue about which I get approached most about in the street, is the subject of a majority of meetings I have in my office, and personally, the primary reason I was inspired to run for parliament in the first place”.