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Collapse Issue 417 - 17 Apr 2017Issue 417 - 17 Apr 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Labor's Liesl landslide
Dredging is 'years away' at best, says consultant
Board calls for comment on park name
Certificate issued for seven-storey complex
Former Wyong councillor to stand in local ward
Progress association meeting to focus on plastics
Volunteers receive community service awards
Tesch: 'Strong sense of belonging to the Peninsula'
Tesch to fight for dredging
Chamber congratulates Tesch
Anzac Day ceremony
Wreath-laying at Ettalong
Pearl Beach ceremony
Mary Mac's calls for donations
Action group claims success
Co-ordinator-general appointed
Chamber welcomes coordinator-general appointment
Public help wanted with graffiti attack
Wicks welcomes broadband monitoring
Fish and chip entries wanted
Rainfall returns to average
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Downsizing - not excitement, just sheer hell
Forgotten warriors
Please save our sand
Penalty rates have deleterious effect
Paper clip planning led to flooding?
Government should put money where its mouth is
Community forum needed - without developers
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Church host Biggest Morning Tea
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Grant for library exhibition space
Protest, politics and parody at folk club
Pearl Beach artist was highly commended
Ettalong cafe hosts local artist
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Kayleigh seeks fourth show baking prize
Cultural workshops at Umina
New approaches to maths explored
Barbecue on election day
Softball gala day
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Umina brings home trophies from Australian titles
Dragon boat club to enter World Masters
Excellent showing at State championships
Jemma Smith nails top 10 in Ironwoman
Woy Woy struggles in rugby union
Southern Ettalong defeated
Special activities for 60th anniversary
Umina wins unique bowls competition
Trigg wins major singles
Circle Golf Club in action
Date for 85th birthday

Government should put money where its mouth is

Deborah O'Neill is, of course, quite correct in one sense when she says that Lucy Wicks' sudden discovery of the GP crisis is a political stunt ("GP 'emergency' is political stunt, says O'Neill", Peninsula News, April 3) and a puzzling one at that, since Wicks has no conceivable solution to offer for the problem, making it difficult to see why she has bought into it.

In another sense, the GP crisis on the Peninsula is no stunt, political or otherwise, as we all know.

Nevertheless, her claim that the Government's policies on Medicare, on treatment reimbursements and on such measures as co-payments have brought about this situation is patently absurd.

These policies apply to the whole of Australia but have not resulted in a GP shortage in some other areas where elderly pensioners are a significant proportion of the population, so there must be stronger factors involved.

Doctors can pick and choose where to practise, and it is difficult to entice them away from Sydney to the Central Coast or to regional cities.

If the Government is serious about tackling the misdistribution of doctors, there is only one mechanism with any prospect of success, and that is to offer financial incentives.

By this, I mean that the Government will have to identify areas of practitioner deficiency and offer them up for tender.

Any doctor thinking of moving his practice can then bid whatever amount will persuade him to make a shift, and the Government can decide whether it is willing to pay this kind of subsidy to create an egalitarian medical system.

Wringing of hands over doctor shortages is a fruitless exercise.

If the Government really sees it as a problem that it should tackle, let us see some practical measures in hard cash.

I suspect it will be a long time before the Government puts its money where its mouth is.

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