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Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 1696

Ms KATE ELLIS (Minister for Employment Participation and Childcare and Minister for the Status of Women) (10:46 AM) —I rise today to update the House on progress that has been made towards delivering on our election commitment for a $15 million GP superclinic for the community that I am lucky enough to represent, Adelaide. Over several years I have heard from Adelaide residents about the difficulties they have faced in accessing quality GP services in certain parts of the electorate. Together we have worked to highlight the local doctor shortage caused largely by the slashes in GP training places by the now Leader of the Opposition during his stint as Minister for Health and Ageing.

We have seen local clinics closing their books to new patients as they are unable to take on any more in the local area. We have seen the difficulties in replacing GPs who have left, particularly at the Nailsworth Surgery, a situation that I brought to the attention of this parliament through the presentation of a petition signed by hundreds of local residents. This is why we have been fighting for Adelaide residents, petitioning the national parliament and welcoming our government’s investment of $100,000 for GP after-hours services at the Regency Medical Clinic.

I know just how important it is for the residents of Adelaide to be able to access quality health care in our community, which is why I am delighted to update the House on the first steps that have been made to deliver our commitment to build a GP superclinic in Adelaide. Recently the Department of Health and Ageing, on behalf of the government, conducted formal local consultations with our community to ensure that key stakeholders and residents have the opportunity to shape our new GP superclinic, its location and its operations. Of course, the consultation does not just happen at formal meetings, and I have been engaging with local residents and key stakeholders for over six months about how our GP superclinic can best meet the needs of our local community. Prior to the commitment, I called on Adelaide residents to support my petition for a GP superclinic in Adelaide and I was overwhelmed by the positive response, which demonstrated the strong support for our government’s health reform agenda in Adelaide.

Following the formal consultation, I have also sought the feedback of local residents about the location and the services to be provided at our GP superclinic. I have heard from residents about the importance of ensuring that the GP superclinic is accessible by public transport and about the areas where there is a particular need. I have also heard about the need to ensure that culturally diverse services are available for our multicultural area, but broad services need to be available, with a particular emphasis on our ageing community and to ensure that opening hours provide flexibility. We work towards continued improved health solutions for the residents of Adelaide with the GP superclinic, and I commend the Minister for Health and Ageing for her hard work in delivering these.