Sunday, June 23, 2024

Balonne council eyes sustainable GP solution

Balonne Shire Council is working with local health bodies, South West Hospital & Health Service, Western Queensland Primary Health Network and the St George Medical Centre to explore and identify possible options for a sustainable general practice health service in St George.

The Council says GPs across Australia are struggling, particularly in rural and remote locations.

St George is not exempt from these pressures, and it is imperative that GP services in St George can continue to meet the needs of the community in a sustainable way, said Mayor, Samantha O’Toole.

The Mayor says a number of community consultation activities will occur to allow the community to have their say on developing sustainable GP services in St George.

“The provision of health services is not the normal operation of local government, but taking care of the needs of our local community is, which is why we partnered with local health parties to consult with the community on this important issue,” said Mayor O’Toole.

“This is not just a local issue, it is a national one, and there are other rural communities who have faced a similar issue before implementing different models to maintain the sustainability of their GP services.

“By working together as a community, we can find the solution that fits our needs and deliver a sustainable General Practice services in St George, which will continue to support the ongoing livability of our community.”

St George Medical Centre Managing Director, Alex Benn said he was heartened by community actions to transition the General Practice in St George to a more sustainable model.

“General Practices across Australia are struggling at the moment, and it has been difficult to maintain a sustainable business model in the face of GP shortages and under the current funding model,” said Mr Benn.

“We’ve seen other rural communities successfully transition to other models that maintain General Practice services for their community.

“I am confident that as a community we can find a solution to maintain General Practice services in St George.”

Mayor Samantha O’Toole outlined how important this matter is for residents right across the Shire.

The Council has launched a community survey on its website to allow the public to have a say on the region’s health future.

Latest Articles