Rural doctors: The Greens have got it right



Sir – The Greens commit while major parties are lost in space on rural health. They are the only party that has so far addressed rural health issues.


They have committed to minimum standards of service access, promised the development of a rural health workforce innovation fund, to look at increasing the rural and remote bulk billing payment and $180 million in infrastructure and increased MBS payments to help deliver care to the bush.


Apart from the previously promised funding for the National Rural Generalist Training Pathway, the other parties seem to have crashed onto an alien planet and are battling to survive.


Neither Labor nor Liberal have promised any significant investment to rural health workforce issues, with the maldistribution of doctors a key problem impacting on rural patients’ ability to access care.


We continue to call for a rural loading on all consults delivered in the bush, which would build in a financial incentive for both GP and specialist services, to help offset the higher cost of delivering care to rural and remote Australia.


This mechanism would also provide encouragement for specialists to leave their city practice and provide visiting services to rural towns.


Dr Adam Coltzau (pictured)

President, Rural Doctors Association of Australia




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