Health | February 14, 2023

Stawell community devastated by loss of much-loved GP

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Emma Kealy has called on the Minister for Health to urgently intervene in contract negotiations between Stawell GP Dr Adnan Rasheed and Grampians Health.

Speaking in Parliament last week, Ms Kealy requested the Minister also undertake an immediate review into all medical contract negotiations undertaken by Grampians Health, particularly those which were not successfully negotiated.

Ms Kealy said Grampians Health gave Dr Rasheed just a few days to consider a contract which included significant variations in conditions from his existing contract of 15 years.

“The clauses in the contract are not equitable with other similar level medical professionals working at the Stawell campus of Grampians Health and are not equitable with the conditions offered in hospitals and other GP clinics across rural Victoria.

“The contract is completely unfair, inequitable, vastly different from the contract Dr Rasheed has worked under for a long time and is completely blind to the medical workforce crisis that so many hospitals and communities are facing right across Victoria,” she said.

Ms Kealy said Dr Rasheed was highly respected by the medical and Stawell communities alike.

“My office has been absolutely overwhelmed with calls from Stawell locals desperately concerned that not only are they losing a great GP and beloved community member, but the community is already desperately short of GPs. No GPs in Stawell are taking new patients and it takes weeks to get an appointment, even if you do have a family doctor.

“Some locals are speculating that this is the first step towards the closure of surgery in Stawell, because with no anaesthetists there will be no surgery.

“Locals have raised funds for the hospital and the staff have done a fabulous job under very trying conditions over the past 15 months. They need to have confidence in access to local medical services in the future. This was what was promised by Grampians Health; it has not been delivered.

“This decision will have significant ramifications for the health outcomes of Stawell residents and given the critical impact of the loss of Dr Rasheed as a GP anaesthetist in the Stawell community, I have asked the minister to urgently intervene in this matter,” she said.

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