Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, is calling on Minister for Health, Mark Butler, to urgently review changes Labor made to Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification system to encourage GP’s back to Capricornia.
Ms Landry said the looming closure of Rockhampton’s only bulk billing medical centre is a direct sign of the impact of these changes have made to the health of those living in Capricornia.
“I was deeply disappointed to hear the news that Rockhampton would be losing a critical medical practice which our community heavily relies on. Unfortunately, our region will lose more doctors under the thoughtless changes to DPA.
“The DPA was crucial in supporting rural and regional healthcare by identifying areas lacking access to GP services. The thoughtless decision to expand the DPA into areas to include the outer parts of our capital cities is pulling doctors away from regional communities and has given international medical graduates the option to practice in peri-urban areas of Australia instead of the bush.
“More practices will be forced to close if they cannot recruit GPs as a result of these changes and will locals no choice but to utilise the already struggling Emergency Department,” Ms Landry said.
Locations now classified under the DPA in Queensland include Ipswich, Springfield and Jimboomba.
The Federal Member for Capricornia also said the Rockhampton community is still waiting on the Prime Minister’s promise of an Urgent Care Clinic to come to fruition.
“During last year’s election, the Prime Minister made a promise to establish 50 Urgent Care Clinics with one to be located in Rockhampton. To date, only four have opened in Queensland and all are in southeast Queensland – Logan, Ipswich, Murrumba Downs and Brisbane South.
“Labor promised that they would establish this additional health service, yet their failure to meet the deadline proves that they cannot be trusted to deliver real and urgent outcomes.
“The Albanese Government continues to prove that Labor only prioritises health during election campaigns, and they fail when it comes to actually delivering the services that the people of Capricornia need,” Ms Landry said.