Rural Towns at Risk Through Health Crisis

16 Jul 2021

For many months, AMA(SA) and the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) have been representing the state’s rural general practitioners (GPs) in negotiations with SA Health’s Rural Support Services about the conditions under which the doctors provide services to regional hospitals.

These negotiations followed the expiration of existing contracts with South Australia’s rural doctors in November 2020.

In March, AMA(SA) and RDASA proposed a package that would reflect the work rural doctors do – in addition to their general practice commitments – to serve their patients and communities. The proposed package reflected rural GPs’ work in treating road accident victims, delivering babies, operating on burst appendix, and treating sports concussions and broken limbs, and answering a myriad of calls, at any time of the day and night.

The RSS response received this month has been rejected as unacceptable. AMA(SA) and RDASA are now discussing with rural GPs the next steps in securing respectful, appropriate compensation for their work. They warn that the issue intensifies the already crippling health crisis in South Australia’s rural communities.

Published: 16 Jul 2021