Patients will suffer: GPs step up anti-rebate campaign

Small rural general practices in Tasmania will simply become unviable in areas where patients can’t afford out-of-pocket fees and doctors can’t afford to cover the extra cost, Huon Valley GP Dr Bastian Seidel told Medical Observer.

“Practices are going to close, and my feeling is the corporates will come in and snatch them up but only with some kind of government funding or council support,” he said.

“But that is money that should go to the GPs who have been in the community for decades.”

Dr Seidel said he could not understand how the government could announce the changes without consultation, effectively avoiding discussion while the ministers responsible were away on annual leave over the Christmas break.

“If I make an important clinical decision and go on holidays, I hand the responsibility to someone else. It doesn’t work in medicine — and it shouldn’t work in politics,