Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Tasmanian Govt boosts after hours GP access

Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Health, Jeremy Rockliff has announced an expansion of the state’s GP After Hours Initiative, with a further seven primary health providers receiving grants to boost access to services.

The State’s $8 million GP After Hours Initiative aims to strengthen community-based services and enables GPs and pharmacies to deliver urgent care to more Tasmanians during evenings and weekends.

Premier Rockliff (pictured) said the funding means that patients can access treatment for injuries and illnesses that need to be seen that day without attending the emergency department (ED). This includes non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses such as musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries, gastrointestinal illnesses, abrasions, lacerations, stings, bites, rashes, and wound infections.

He said that expanding access to primary health providers and treating people in the community where safe and appropriate to do so, would reduce pressure on hospitals and provide patients with more comfortable and accessible care closer to home.

“That’s why we are delivering a third round of our Government’s successful GP After Hours Support Initiative which prioritises support for vulnerable Tasmanians across the State – including those experiencing homelessness – who may find it particularly tough to access a GP,” the Premier said. 

“While the Federal Government is predominantly responsible for funding GPs and primary care, the Tasmanian Government has stepped up and is investing in a number of community-based care initiatives, including our recently announced pilot with the Australian Government that will make it easier to recruit and retain GPs in training in rural and regional areas. This is in addition to our existing Hospital Avoidance Co-Investment Fund, Hospital in the Home services, Community Rapid Response Service, PACER, and community paramedics.

“Empowering our primary care providers to deliver more care to their local communities is a key part of our Government’s long-term plan to build a sustainable and integrated health system”

Mr Rockliff said the new round of funding was targeted towards supporting vulnerable Tasmanians who may find it particularly difficult to access a GP such as people in regional, rural and remote communities with limited health services, those experiencing homelessness, people with disability, priority population groups such as the LGBTQI+ community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

The successful grant recipients are located across the State – including in Hobart, Launceston, Bruny Island, St Helens, Deloraine and Cygnet.

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