Minister Butler has terrified the Australian public today about the GP crisis that is unfolding across Australia without offering a single solution to address this serious issue. Again, Labor are proving that they are all talk and no action.
It is all well and good for Minister Butler to tell everyone that more needs to be done, but what action is he actually taking to tangibly address this issue?
This crisis is only ‘terrifying’ if nothing is being done to adequately address GP shortages.
It has been clear that the Albanese Labor Government does not have a plan to address the critical workforce shortages in Australia’s healthcare sector, particularly in relation to GPs, which is particularly impacting rural, regional and remote communities.
So far all we’ve seen from this Government is their dedication to copying Coalition policies from the election – They have not announced one single new initiative that meaningfully responds to the GP crisis as it is unfolding.
The Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit was meant to address this issue, but all it delivered was another talkfest that failed to deliver any real plans.
The only initiative they have actually delivered – expanding the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classifications for overseas trained doctors – has exacerbate the problem by ripping away GPs from many rural and regional communities who were struggling with GP shortages.
When asked in estimates if the Albanese Government had consulted with rural and regional communities before deciding to expand the DPA classifications and make it harder for them to attract doctors, Assistant Minister McCarthy replied ‘no’.
Labor are too busy working on their next grab for a headline, instead of with the practices and communities on the ground who understand the issue and are crying out for the Government to listen.
Minister Butler must urgently explain to the Australian public and the healthcare sector if he has a plan to address the GP shortages we are seeing across the country.
This issue requires a multifaceted approach, and we must look closely at the importance of medical students’ exposure to real life experiences in general practice through placements, as well as the ability for parallel learning to occur.
There is a crisis unfolding and the Albanese Government has been asleep at the wheel.