Skip navigation

200 New Public Health Clinics

Too many people in Queensland don’t have access to a bulk-billing GP or basic free primary healthcare. That means people get sicker and develop more complications because they can’t access basic healthcare, which puts pressure on our public hospital system and emergency departments.  Often, Queenslanders present to an emergency department with a non-emergency health concern that could have been treated by a GP. 

In 2019 there were over 200,000 visits to emergency departments by patients who presented with a non-emergency health concern - known as ‘category 5’ in The Australasian Triage Scale.1 In other words over 200,000 people presented to ED with health issues that could have been treated by a GP. Every category 5 presentation to an Emergency Department costs the Queensland Government $524.2 This means the total cost of category 5 patients to Queensland Health last year was $107 million. Meanwhile a recent Australia-wide study found that between 20% - 40% of ED presentations could be treated by a GP.3

Unlike public hospitals, private GP clinics are forced to generate an income to pay wages and cover costs. Many GPs currently struggle to bulk-bill because the Medicare rebate is too low. This means doctors are either forced to churn through patients or charge extra. Federal Labor’s plan for GP super clinics failed because it forced doctors to rely on the Medicare rebate - essentially it placed the burden on private practices to provide what should be publicly funded healthcare. 

The failure to invest in community based primary healthcare means our emergency departments are regularly overwhelmed, in particular during standard flu seasons. Everyone should have access to universal, free public healthcare. 

 

The Greens will 

  • Establish 200 free public health clinics across Queensland with public funded and salaried GPs, nurses, and allied health professionals including physiotherapists and public dentists

 

200 Public Health Clinics

The Greens will invest $5.8 billion over four years in building and staffing 200 public health clinics across Queensland to ensure every Queenslander has access to a free GP and crucial preventative and primary health care like mental health, dental and chronic illness support, without having to pay. All doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, and allied health will be public employees and paid professional salaries. This means that rather than having to churn through as many patients as possible in a day - doctors actually have the time to follow up with people and give appointments the time they deserve. 

Each clinic on average will be staffed with 10 GPs and 15 nurses in addition to allied health professionals and dental. The public health clinics will be built across Queensland with the services tailored to particular community’s needs. Clinics would be funded to be open seven days a week and out of hours to ensure people aren’t forced to attend an emergency department unnecessarily. The clinics will be built over four years with priority given to areas currently lacking access to a bulk-billing GP and primary health care. The Greens will ensure every Queenslander has access to a bulk-billing GP regardless of where they live. 

 

Region

Public Health Clinics (Indicative Only)

Brisbane

51

Cairns/ Far North Queensland

11

Rockhampton

6

Gladstone

3

Toowoomba/Darling Downs

11

Gold Coast

26

Ipswich

14

Logan/Beaudesert

13

Mackay/Proserpine

6

Moreton Bay

8

Sunshine Coast

16

Townsville/North Queensland

9

Wide Bay/Bundaberg

13


 

Costing 

The total cost of building 200 public health clinics will be $2.8 billion over four years, with a further $3.3 billion over four years allocated to fund staffing and operations. Additional funding through savings made by reducing the burden on public emergency departments. The total cost of the initiative will be funded by the Greens plan to raise royalties on mining corporations, which will raise $55 billion over four years.

200 Public Health Clinics

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

Total

200 Public Health Clinics Construction Cost

-$710,142,065

-$719,018,841

-$728,006,576

-$737,106,658

-$2,894,274,140

Staffing

-$328,500,000

-$665,212,500

-$1,010,291,484

-$1,363,893,504

-$3,367,897,488

Savings from reduction category 5 presentations

$107,004,468

$107,004,468

$107,004,468

$107,004,468

$428,017,872

Total

-$931,637,597

-$1,277,226,873

-$1,631,293,593

-$1,993,995,694

-$5,834,153,757

 


1 https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/emergency-departments-triage

2 https://www.ihpa.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/national_hospital_cost_data_collection_australian_public_hospitals_cost_report_round_21_2016-17_-_infographic_-_emergency_department_care.pdf

3 https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/professional/why-do-patients-go-to-emergency-rather-than-to-the


Showing 1 reaction

  • Nicholas Beith
    published this page in Platform 2020-10-23 08:37:50 +1000

Our Plan for Queensland

Read More