Ellis welcomes potential to quadruple GP numbers in regional areas

13 May 2024

Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP welcomes the expansion of the Single Employer Model trial to entice more GPs to country areas, saying he desperately hopes the vision to deliver the additional 60 GP and rural generalist registrars will come to fruition.

“Anything and everything must be tried to address arguably the most serious problem facing regional South Australia so I commend all involved in this initiative which has shown promise already in a Riverland trial”, Mr Ellis said.

“At the core of this issue is the fact that training local doctors is the surest way they’ll stay local once they’re qualified, and this model no doubt will be attractive for graduates to have one employer over the course of their training period in order to secure continuity and associated leave and entitlements. “

Mr Ellis said the new policy aligns well with requests within the health petition he presented to Parliament last November, that carried the more than 10,000 signatures required to formally trigger referral to a Legislative Review Committee for consideration; specifically, the request seeking measures that guarantee equitable distribution of GPs across SA and entice more to service country areas.

“The policy announced last Friday follows the very welcome new Rural Attraction Payments that were offered in December to entice doctors into country towns, which commenced 1 February 2024. However, the proof will be in the pudding.

“Questions I have of the Single Employer Model trial expansion include, what are we going to do about increasing the number of people who choose to become a GP, let alone a regional GP? How will these new training places be apportioned across the State? And will these GPs that are to be employed by the public health system be able to moonlight in local GP clinics as part of the Primary Health Care Network?

“I will be addressing these questions with Minister Picton in Parliament this week”, Mr Ellis said.