A GP practice in Victoria will close after more than five decades, leaving thousands of doctors unable to practise in the state.
Key points:More than a dozen of Victoria’s GP practice closures are expected within the next three yearsThe practice is in Victoria’s South West and will close in 2021The decision to close comes after a decade of waitingThe closure comes after the Victorian Government agreed to an $8.5 million tender from the United Kingdom-based organisation that runs the GP services in Victoria.
Key facts:A total of 24 of Victoria ‘s 30 GP practices will close between 2021 and 2021, leaving around 4,000 doctors without a GP practice.
The Government will announce the closure dates in the coming months, but it is expected to close about 100 GP practices before 2021.
There will be no additional opening of new GP practices.
Victoria is a long way from the rest of Australia where the majority of GP practices remain open.
It is home to a total of 17 GP practices, of which only four have been licensed to practice in the rest and the remaining eight have been in the private sector.
The Victorian Government is expected have announced the closure of more than a hundred GP practices in the next few years.
But the closure will be a blow to the thousands of rural and remote rural GP practices across Victoria and the rest.
The closure is a result of a bid by the United States-based GP practices Association of Victoria (AUDGA) to open its network of primary care practice licences in Victoria in the early 2020s.
It was hoped that the AU-based association would take the lead in establishing a network of local primary care practices.
But AU-registered GP practice will now have to go to the United Nations for approval.
The decision by the Victorian Health Department to end the GP practice network has sparked anger among rural doctors in Victoria and beyond.
“It’s just sad to see the closure happening in the middle of the year,” Dr Lisa Wainwright, chief executive of the Rural Health Alliance, said.
“There is no alternative but to close the practice, which is why we have called on the Government to ensure that all primary care physicians are protected from the loss of their practice.”
Dr Wainright said the closure would be particularly devastating for rural and regional doctors in rural Victoria.
“The closure will affect rural primary care doctors, but particularly rural primary and community doctors,” she said.
Dr Wainson said she was hopeful the Government would ensure that doctors were able to practise elsewhere in the State.
“I would love for the Government and the Government of Victoria to give a commitment to ensure all primary health care professionals have access to the opportunity to practise outside of Victoria,” she added.
“We need to make sure that the primary health professionals have an opportunity to practice elsewhere in Australia.”
Dr Mark Brown, CEO of the Victorian Medical Association, said he believed the Government was taking an “unusual approach” in shutting down rural and rural primary health practitioners.
“This is a sad day for rural doctors and their patients, but also a very sad day in terms of the Government’s commitment to primary health,” he said.
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