Protesting GP says he’ll put up the shutters

Dr John Wilkins, who has practised in the Huon Valley town of Cygnet for more than three decades, was escaping a rainstorm on a patient’s balcony today as he prepared to break the news it could be the last of the pair’s 34 years of consultations.

The solo GP said many patients don’t understand the rebate changes or what they mean for doctors like him.

“It’s very hard for them to understand what’s happening, and why you’re doing what you’re doing... and what their options are,” Dr Wilkins said.

While he made house calls today, his wife and receptionist Asiyah Wilkins turned away patients as she took calls in their home practice on Frederick St, Cygnet.

The practice is fully booked until 19 January, Mrs Wilkins said.

She said telling patients the practice would close was hard and that they would be unable to tell everyone. She estimated the number of patients on the books