Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Leader
The closure of Greenpoint Medical Centre would be a disaster for thousands of patients and the communities it supports, and have a significant negative impact on southern Tasmania’s health system. The Minister for Health, Guy Barnett, must immediately intervene and do everything he can to save this critical service.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Greenpoint Medical for the Bridgewater, Gagebrook, Herdsmans Cove, and Old Beach communities, who have relied on this medical centre for decades. Having a local GP is essential for the 8,000 patients on the books at Greenpoint, many of whom have been attending the surgery their entire lives.
What’s particularly worrying about the closure of this GP practice is there are no other options available. The next closest doctors’ surgeries are much harder to travel to – especially given Metro’s cancelled services – and have no capacity to take on even a handful of new patients, let alone thousands.
In reality, if people can no longer access this GP clinic, they won’t be able to access a doctor at all. The result will be thousands of people becoming more sick, and eventually many will need to call an ambulance or go to the emergency department that is already overflowing.
If Minister Barnett won’t act to find a solution for the health needs of thousands of Tasmanians left abandoned, and limit the impacts to the wider health system, there is something deeply wrong with his understanding of his responsibilities.
This is no time for blame-shifting to the Federal Government – we just need solutions, and we need them now.
The State Government has intervened in similar situations before when other GP clinics in Campbell Town and St Mary’s have faced closure. Minister Barnett needs to immediately reassure the people of Bridgewater and surrounding suburbs that he will take similar action now as an immediate priority.