Dec 2013

Letter to the Editor - Rural doctors seek urgent action on flawed classification system

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As regional and remote towns continue to struggle to attract and retain qualified and experienced medial staff we again call on the Federal Government to urgently revise the flawed Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system.

The ASGC-RA system is used to determine the rurality of towns across Australia, and therefore the extent of government support that doctors in each location receive.

Under the current system a number of regional cities have been classified at similar rurality levels as many smaller rural towns, making it very challenging for the smaller towns to compete with larger centres when recruiting and retaining doctors.

For example in Kennedy Charters Towers, Mareeba, Atherton, Innisfail and Tully are classified as the same rurality as Townsville and Cairns.
Cloncurry in the electorate’s west is only one classification higher in ‘remoteness’ than Townsville.

We ask the government why would a doctor chose to move his or her family nine hours’ drive, on a road that floods from a mere drop of rain, to Cloncurry for a smidgen more incentive then they receive living in Townsville with all of its amenities and services?

How can the likes of Cloncurry and other small towns compete with what Townsville and Cairns haves to offer potential medical employees?

It’s time something is done about this ASGC-RA system and we call on the Federal Government to action this.

Hon Bob Katter MP
Federal Member for Kennedy

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au