cheerful stomatologist talking with patient sitting in dental chair

Cash help over GP crisis

OUSE residents have been offered some financial relief to cover the cost of petrol when they attend a GP. Since the Ouse GP quit earlier this year, and a legal dispute led to the replacement resigning, locals have had to travel long distances to seek medical attention.

On Saturday, Premier Jeremy Rockliff said until a replacement GP was found, patients would receive travel assistance. He said the Government was taking steps to ensure the continued delivery of GP services in the Ouse and Central Highlands area.

“While the Federal Government is responsible for funding GPs and primary care, the Tasmanian Government has been making a number of investments into community-based care to assist in reducing hospitalisations and deliver better care for Tasmanians,’’ Mr Rockliff said. “We are committed to supporting Central Highlands residents while a provider is sought to deliver this vital service to the community. “However, we recognise the ongoing hardship for residents while this process continues.’’

To be eligible for the assistance, residents must hold a healthcare card, or be a pensioner, and must have been previously registered as a patient at the GP Practice. Reimbursement will be backdated to August 1, 2022.

“Other Central Highlands residents that are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the cost of travelling out of the local area to see a GP will be considered on a case-by-case basis.’’

Eligible Central Highlands residents can submit a Petrol Reimbursement form, together with evidence of their GP appointments to claim this travel assistance. Acceptable forms of evidence include a Medicare slip or a GP receipt. Petrol Reimbursement forms are available at the Central Highlands Community Health Centre in Ouse, and can be collected in person, posted or emailed out.

Mr Rockliff said it was a temporary arrangement until a local GP service could be re-established.

The Community Health Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Or phone 6122 2000.

The Tasmanian Government will continue to lobby the Federal Government for additional support.