No option on after-hours medical care

Dr Mary Piepers outside Gympie’s now defunct Cooloola After Hours Medical Service, at Gympie Private Hospital.
Dr Mary Piepers outside Gympie’s now defunct Cooloola After Hours Medical Service, at Gympie Private Hospital. Tanya Easterby

OPPRESSIVE contract conditions, inadequate funding and sheer business realities have caused the closure of Gympie's only private after-hours general practitioner medical service.

One of the service's doctors, Dr Mary Piepers, said it was fortunate Gympie Hospital had agreed to take all the service's patients.

"We're very grateful to them for that," she said.

Officials of funding body Medicare Local visited Gympie from Maroochydore last night to talk to Gympie health professionals.

Dr Piepers said the service had closed for a range of reasons, each of them rendering it unviable.

"The ultimate nutshell reality - if we'd had enough patients to be viable we wouldn't have needed a government grant," she said.

"It would be business as usual.

"We need about 25 patients every week, with a $40 charge on top of Medicare's contribution.

"We only serve six to 12 people on a weekend, and we can well understand that for pensioners that extra $40 is a lot of money."

Dr Piepers said fatigue was another problem for doctors already working 40-50 hours during the week, then putting in another 10-20 hours on the weekend.

"We're all exhausted, especially after seven months negotiating with The Medicare Local on funding," she said.

She said onerous and oppressive contract conditions meant the money provided by the government was not enough to pay for their conditions.

"They had clauses allowing them to change the clauses unilaterally and to extend the contract indefinitely," she said.

"And they had gag clauses preventing us from discussing it.

"We don't want to attack The Medicare Local, but I was shocked that an Australian government body could offer a contract that was so onerous and unfair."

Gympie Times

Topics:  closure general practitioner gympie hospital gympie private hospital medical services

Drunken outburst over 'bludging' partner ends in court

Gympie Magistrates Court House. File photo.

'Grossly intoxicated' man refuses to leave house, resists arrest

Qld abortion law changes attract 2400 submissions

Abortion is still a hot topic in Queensland

More than 2400 submissions made on Qld abortion laws

The image deemed too offensive for Facebook

REMOVED: This photo of Samantha Engle was deemed too offensive for Facebook.

IS this the most natural thing in the world or offensive?

Local Partners

Gympie students take to the field for a cause

Gympie State High School students are passing the baton to raise funds for cancer awareness and research.

What's happening in your community

NOW HEAR THIS: What's on around Gympie region this week.

Community Diary for October 21-23

Widgee fires up for massive weekend of music, fun

WIDGEE BOUND: The Eagle Mountain String Band have come all the way from Washington State, USA, for this weekend's Webb Brothers Country Talent Quest at Widgee.

Campfire concert kicks off big weekend at Widgee

Aussie acts set to take the stage at the Rush Festival

LIVE AND LOUD: Indie rockers British India will be one of the bands taking to the stage on Sunday night.

Rush Festival is gearing up for a big weekend of free live music.

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E10 - hometown visits

Georgia Love in a scene from season two episode 10 of The Bachelorette.

Georgia meets the families of her four beaus tonight.

The Bachelorette: Courtney too slow for Georgia's love train

Courtney Dober in a scene from The Bachelorette.

FORMER favourite eliminated after introducing Georgia to his family.

Singing ex-diplomat brings Afghanistan war to life

Folk singer Fred Smith's concert draws on his experience as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Fred Smith's regional Queensland tour focuses on the Afghanistan war

Shaynna'a blazing a stylish trail on television

Shaynna Blaze hosts the new TV show Deadline Design.

SHE'S the designer with no less than three shows on ours screens.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.