The Liberals have snubbed a petition signed by 1200 people concerned about regional health services in the Derwent Valley.
Labor Leader, Rebecca White, said residents were rightfully concerned about access to a GP or after-hours health care.
“With the retirement of two long-standing local doctors almost a year ago, some Derwent Valley residents are still waiting to get on the books with local GPs,” Ms White said.
“In some cases, Derwent Valley residents have been forced to travel to Sandy Bay, Sorell and Brighton to get an appointment or to make sure they can get their prescriptions for medication.
“People in rural and regional areas deserve access to timely and local health services but are continually treated with contempt by the Liberal government.
“It’s no surprise that people in the Derwent Valley have been forced to take matters into their own hands, with 1200 people signing a petition calling for the government to act.
“Yet instead of taking these concerns seriously the government has continued to ignore residents’ concerns.
“The government’s response to the petition was to tell residents that they have ‘an appropriate level of access to out of hours care through the New Norfolk Ambulance Tasmania service’.
“This is completely out of touch – the ambulance station is dependent on volunteers to fully staff the roster and in some cases cannot open because there isn’t anyone available.
“A lack of access to GPs and community-based care contributes to added pressure on the hospital system because people can’t access the care they need to stay well.
“Labor understands the importance of making sure people have access to health care when and where they need it and will continue to call for better regional health services for the Derwent Valley and other regions across Tasmania.”
Rebecca White MP