THE State Government has introduced financial assistance for patients of the closed GP clinic at Ouse to help with travel costs to attend a GP out of the local area. This was an issue raised by members of the public at a recent community meeting at Ellendale.
“To be eligible for this assistance, residents must hold a healthcare card, or be a pensioner, and must have been previously registered as a patient at the GP Practice,” Premier and Health minister Jeremy Rockliff said. “Other Central Highlands residents experiencing financial hardship as a result of the cost of travelling out of the local area to see a GP will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
“Eligible Central Highlands residents can submit a petrol reimbursement form, together with evidence of their GP appointments, to claim this travel assistance. Acceptable forms of evidence include a Medicare slip or a GP receipt. Petrol reimbursement forms are available at the Central Highlands Community Health Centre in Ouse, and can be collected in person, posted or emailed out.”
Mr Rockliff said this was a temporary arrangement until such time that a local GP service can be re-established. Claims can be backdated to August 1, 2022. Further information can be obtained from the Central Highlands Community Health Centre which is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. The phone number is 6122 2000.
“The Tasmanian Liberal Government acknowledges the important role that GPs and the primary healthcare sector plays in caring for our community and is taking all steps to ensure the continued delivery of GP services in the Ouse and Central Highlands area,” Mr Rockliff said.
“While the Federal Government is responsible for funding GPs and primary care, the Tasmanian Government has been making a number of investments into community-based care to assist in reducing hospitalisations and deliver better care for Tasmanians.
“We are committed to supporting Central Highlands residents while a provider is sought to deliver this vital service to the community. However, we recognise the ongoing hardship for residents while this process continue. The Tasmanian Government will continue to lobby the Federal Government for additional support for this vital sector.”