GP shortages in the spotlight as Senate Inquiry hearings commence

The shortage of GPs in Lyons will be under the spotlight this month as the first public hearing of a Senate inquiry examining the issue gets underway in Canberra.

Labor called for the inquiry in a bid to investigate the critical lack of doctors across outer metropolitan, rural and regional Australia.

Submissions have been made to the inquiry from range of organisations, including doctors, GP practice managers, universities, peak bodies, health advocates and concerned citizens.

Labor MP Brian Mitchell was among those to make a formal submission.

“I hear it all the time when I’m out and about in the community and a survey I conducted last month hammered it home - people are finding it really hard to see a doctor when they need it, and the pandemic has only made it more challenging,” Mr Mitchell said.

“GPs are closing and we need to know why, so we can fix it.”

“It can be really stressful for families and it ultimately puts more pressure on hospitals.”

Mr Mitchell said the local community needed solutions to the crisis which is only getting worse.

The Senate Inquiry will examine the Government’s current geographical classification system, the stronger Rural Health Strategy, GP training reforms, and the effects of the Medicare rebate freeze.

The inquiry will also assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on doctor shortages in outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australia.

Submissions to the inquiry can be viewed here.