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AMA welcomes deal between Country Doctors and SA Government

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says a deal between Country Doctors and the South Australian Government is a major breakthrough. The deal keeps bush-trained doctors in the bush and recognises their financial needs. 

“A doctor who trains in the bush stays in the bush,” said SA president Dr Patricia Montanaro. “Now they will be able to train the doctors, the doctors will get the recognition and they will be able to be paid.”

The agreement also addresses the financial implications for GPs needing to leave their practices to attend to road accidents and other emergencies. 

“These road emergencies take doctors our of their practices and away from their usual patients and they may not have been able to bill for those services,” said Dr Montanaro. 

The agreement also covers the introduction of a 3 per cent fee increase when doctors provide certain emergency and other after hours services. Country Health SA chief executive officer, Maree Geraghty said the new, improved agreement was key to ensuring the best possible care continues in SA’s 64 rural hospitals. 

“We have received important feedback from rural GPs about how the contact can better meet their need,” she said. The AMA said it had ensured that GPs who have already signed contracts would not miss out on the benefits of the new agreement.

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