Federal Government

The Federal Government was risking the health of rural people with plans to remove incentives for doctors practising in our local communities, said member for McEwen Fran Bailey.

Fran said local doctors would lose their rural retention grants from July 1 and a Federal Government audit of doctors outside Melbourne had sparked fears of a mass exodus of GPs from country areas.

The local MP, who continues to work with our communities to deliver access to GP incentive programs, has launched an online petition to beat down the Government's latest attack on country living.

"We must oppose any plan from Health Minister Roxon to wipe out the hard-won incentives to attract and keep highly-trained GPs in our communities," Fran said.

"This ridiculous plan to rezone most of our communities from rural to inner regional would be a savage blow by Ms Roxon and her Government against quality of life in our communities.

"Families and the elderly would be further disadvantaged by a government that has has walked away from its responsibilities on local child care, local community empowerment projects once funded under Regional Partnerships Program, refuses to fund important small projects at our schools and shuns increasing the fortnightly pension."

Fran said the removal of GP incentives in our growing local communities was poor policy from the Federal Government.

"Our communities and rural doctors can see the disastrous effect that will comes from axing incentives. They fear a mass exodus of doctors into metropolitan areas and our communities will be left stranded, struggling to cope with an even greater shortage of GPs and hospitals run down by the Victorian Labor Government," Fran said.

"But Minister Roxon has underestimated our communities and we will embarrass her into ditching any plan that takes a swipe at our way of life."

To the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives, we the undersigned citizens of Australia draw to the attention of the House plans by the Federal Government to remove incentives for GPs practising in rural communities.

We request the House act to prevent this plan being enacted in rural communities.

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The Retain rural GP zones petition to Federal Government was written by Fran Bailey MP and is in the category Health at GoPetition.