There’s nothing new about the latest concern over the rising demand for GP services and the concurrent lack of practitioners available to meet it.
In fact, the problem was flagged more than two years ago in a report by Deloitte Access Economics for Cornerstone Health Pty Ltd, which found that there will be a 37.5% increase in the demand for GP services between 2019 and 2030 and a shortfall of 9,298 full-time GPs or 24.7% of the GP workforce.
The General Practitioner Workforce Report 2019 made the issue clear to see and no one has convincingly refuted it since.

muddy boots in Lismore

By India Glyde for The Stand

A team of University of Wollongong (UOW) students have been working to help their adopted community in the wake of disaster

Eye-opening. Challenging. Heartwarming.
Those were the words used by Gabriella Marriott, Hannah Gibbs, and Lana Morini, students from the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Doctor of Medicine program, to describe the scenes unfolding on the NSW North Coast, in the wake of the flooding that devastated communities earlier this month.
Gabriella, Hannah and Lana are part of 10 (MD) final year medical students embedded within the Lismore and Ballina community as part of their year-long rural placement.
Based at hospitals, GPs, and health services throughout the region, the cohort were witnesses to the tragedy that took place as torrential rain pummeled the North Coast in early March. And, during the flooding and its aftermath, which still continues weeks later, they all pitched in to help without a moment’s hesitation.

Regional town, Dubbo

In a media release claiming to ‘welcome’ the findings and recommendations of the newly released parliamentary Inquiry into Health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote New South Wales the NSW Government thanked those who participated in the process, including doctors who had accused public health officials of covering up avoidable deaths in regional NSW hospitals.
The Minister for Regional Health, Bronnie Taylor said the Inquiry ‘shone a light where it needed to, hearing directly from rural and regional communities, patients, their families and healthcare workers… The NSW Government has listened and accepts that there is a need to do more to improve patient care in regional and rural locations.’
However, the Perrottet-led government – which includes Nationals’ MPs representing areas where the performance of health facilities was strongly criticised – immediately ruled out accepting the inquiry’s recommendations for a Rural and Remote Health Commissioner, minimum required staffing levels at regional hospitals and improved nurse-to-patient ratios.

The staggering financial impacts of the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been totted up by the NSW Auditor-General’s office which has found $7.5 billion was spent by state government agencies on health costs and economic stimulus.
Despite the Federal Government’s claims – trumpeted during the election Campaign – to have successfully shepherded Australia through the pandemic, the NSW Government’s response was largely funded by its borrowings.
The costs do not take into account the huge effects on businesses, personal incomes and other measures related to infections, lockdowns and the like.

Vinnie's shop in Lismore

Lismore City Council launches a discussion paper and consultation process to consider the future of the devastated city and nearby vulnerable locations. Robin Osborne reports…

Coinciding with President Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ strategy, a response to the chaos caused by Donald Trump, Lismore City Council has launched a Building Back Better process to address the devastation of the February-March flooding and to plan for the local government area at large – although not necessarily the floodplain – to survive and even thrive into the future.
Acknowledging that the floods ‘necessitate a complete rethink about how we plan to rebuild a regional city located at the convergence of two rivers’, the land management discussion paper invites public submissions before 10 June 2022, and will incorporate input from public forums on 23 and 25 May at Lismore Heights Sports Club.

‘The aim of this review is to agree on a strategic direction for growth and rebuilding in Lismore and to ensure that in the long-term there is a suitable supply of land available for new and existing businesses and a suitable supply of flood-free residential land,’ the Council advises.