Doctors denounce Qld government’s hospital failures | Liverpool City Champion

Queensland GPs say the state government must take responsibility for pressures on public hospital capacity, after the deputy premier linked them to the problem.

Steven Miles said earlier this week that emergency room wait times and the surge in ambulances had increased because more patients with respiratory problems were going to public hospitals after being turned away by GPs fearing the COVID-19.

But the Deputy Prime Minister then backtracked, saying his comments, made to reporters in Cairns on Thursday, had been taken out of context and thanked GPs for their hard work.

Queensland GP Alliance chairman Dr Matt Masel said Mr Miles was trying to blame it on his own government’s failures.

“The Deputy Prime Minister claimed that he was taken out of context on Wednesday and that people could not get appointments with their GPs or that GPs were too expensive or too far away,” said the Dr. Masel in a statement Friday.

“He criticizes the federal government for not investing in general medicine. On this we can agree with him. Funding for access to primary care is insufficient.

“But the Queensland Government needs to fix hospitals and not try to shift blame.”

Mr Masel said he called for incentives for GPs to work in metropolitan and regional centers to address shortages.

General practice was intended to be more attractive to medical graduates, but this was hampered by both levels of government, making it financially difficult for patients to access GP care.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland also dismissed Mr Miles’ comments, calling him reckless for trying to blame GPs for problems at public hospitals.

AMAQ chairman Dr Chris Perry said that instead of acting on doctor’s warnings about increasing capacity pressures, Mr Miles made unsubstantiated claims that GPs were refusing patients with suspected COVID-19.

“General practitioners continue to care for respiratory patients across the state,” he said.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said earlier this week the pressures on capacity were caused by patients infected with the virus and healthcare staff isolating long-term patients who cannot be discharged because they do not have access to home care and capacity problems in GP clinics.

“When you can’t afford private health insurance, when you can’t access private specialists, when you can’t access GPs, when you can’t get an NDIS package, when you can’t get the support you need in elder care, you turn to the public health system,” she said.

Ms. D’Ath called on the next federal government to match state funding for health care on a 50-50 basis.

Australian Associated Press

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