KIM BOOTH www.tas.greens.org.au

THE Tasmanian Greens today called on Premier David Bartlett to intervene in the situation surrounding suspended North East doctor, Dr Paul McGinity, following the revelation that on the 20th of May Dr McGinity and his wife both pleaded with the head of the Health Department to ensure that Dr McGinity’s 3000 patients could continue to receive medical care during his suspension, to no avail.

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Greens Member for Bass, Kim Booth MP, said Health Minister Lara Giddings has repeatedly distanced herself and her Department from this issue, but this latest revelation raises serious questions about a major failure by the Health Department and Minister to ensure ongoing medical care for 3000 Tasmanians, despite clear warnings from Dr and Mrs McGinity.

Mr Booth also called on the Medical Council to take some responsibility for the 3000 patients whose health has been endangered by the Council’s sudden decision to suspend Dr McGinity, and do whatever it takes to ensure that these people can again access doctor’s services on a 24-hour-a-day basis, as had been the case before the suspension.

“Mr Bartlett must accept that Health Minister Lara Giddings and her Department have failed the people of North-East Tasmania, and take action to address the huge gap that now exists in the provision of medical services across the North-East. Locums are not enough – the North-East needs a real doctor providing a full medical service,” said Mr Booth.

“The Medical Council doesn’t appear to care about the ramifications of this action, the Health Department has turned its back on heartfelt pleas for assistance, and the Minister wants nothing to do with the issue. So who will look out for the health and safety of Dr McGinity’s 3000 patients?”

“It is extremely alarming to hear that impassioned pleas to the Health Department on behalf of 3000 North-East Tasmanians have been ignored.”

“The Medical Council needs to take some responsibility for this situation, and Premier David Bartlett must accept that his Health Minister and her Department have failed the people of North-East Tasmania, and take action to address the huge gap that now exists in the provision of medical services across the North-East region,” said Mr Booth.

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Attached: Amended excerpt of Dr and Mrs McGinity on 20th of May this year pleading with the head of the Health Department David Roberts (via telephone) to take responsibility for the care of Dr McGinity’s 3000 patients:

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Dr McGinity: You’re ringing me but I am going to tell you how things are critical in the north east. We’re running out of locums. GP Workforce cannot keep up the supply. We have closed the Derby surgery. Bridport surgery is running half time There is no after hours service of any value in the northeast. GP Assist turns them off.

[…]

Mrs McGinity (practice manager): The patients are not being looked after well. Someone has to be told. I can’t tell the Medical Council. Who do I tell? The patients are suffering. They are not being looked after well. They are not keeping up their tablets, they are not coming to the surgery. It is not good what is happening.

[…]

Mrs McGinity: You’ve got to understand, who do I tell? Do I tell Lara Giddings, who do tell?

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Mrs McGinity: You’ve got to understand the effects of this have been so great on his patients I am waiting for an accident to happen. Who do I tell?

[…]

Mrs McGinity: No GP Workforce get locums, you’re talking about locums. This is a bigger issue than just locums. Who do I tell?

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