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February 28 D-day for rural doctors dispute

The State Liberals are calling on the Health Minister Jack Snelling to end an ongoing and damaging dispute between rural doctors and Country Health SA before patient welfare is put at risk.

 “Country Health SA is trying to strong arm country GPs into signing a pay deal by threatening to lock them out of providing patient care at rural hospitals,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

“To add additional pressure Country Health SA is threatening to prevent rural GPs who haven’t signed the agreement from supervising junior doctors who are also vital to the provision of health services in regional South Australia.

“The health of South Australians living outside Adelaide is being used as a bargaining chip in a game of high stakes poker.

“Minister Snelling has failed to respond to the concerns of the Rural Doctors’ Association since December 2nd last year despite the fact the current contracts expire on February the 28th.

“The sustained opposition to Minister Snelling’s plans to close the Repat and cut Emergency Departments at the QEH, Modbury and Noarlunga Hospitals has seen the Minister drop the ball regarding rural hospitals.

“Minister Snelling needs to understand that rural doctors are critical to the health and happiness of small communities across South Australia and Country Health SA’s bully boy tactics are totally unacceptable.

“Minister Snelling’s arrogant treatment of rural doctors is just the latest example of how little concern Labor has for the health needs of regional South Australians.

“Labor’s Transforming Health process completely ignores the hundreds of thousands of South Australians who live in regional South Australia.

“Minister Snelling needs to stop holding rural doctors to ransom.”