Tuesday, 7 February 2023


Grampians Health

Grampians Health

Emma KEALY (Lowan) (19:19): (15) Deputy Speaker, congratulations on your appointment.

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health, and the action I seek is for the minister to urgently intervene in the contract negotiations between Dr Adnan Rasheed and Grampians Health and to immediately undertake a review into all medical contract negotiations undertaken by Grampians Health, particularly those medical contracts which were not successfully negotiated. Last week the Stawell community was devastated to hear that Dr Rasheed, known as their friendly local GP Addi, would be leaving after more than 15 years of ongoing service to the Stawell community as an anaesthetist and general practitioner. Addi was given just a few days to consider a contract which included significant variations in conditions from the contract which had been in place for 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 offered is unfair, inequitable, vastly different from the contract that he has worked under for a long time and completely blind to the medical workforce crisis that so many hospitals and communities are facing right across Victoria.

Addi is highly respected by the medical community and the Stawell community 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 already the community is desperately short of GPs. No GPs in Stawell are taking new patients. It takes weeks to get an appointment even if you do have a family GP. The region is critically short of GPs per head of population, and with the significant expansion of jobs in the local area in the near future this pressure will only increase – or the jobs simply will not be filled.

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. The 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 confidence in the future of access to local medical services. This was what was promised by Grampians Health; it has not been delivered. The failure of Grampians Health to negotiate Addi’s contract in good faith will have significant ramifications for the health outcomes of Stawell residents.

I realise this is not a usual intervention as an adjournment matter. However, given the critical impact of the loss of Addi as a GP anaesthetist in the Stawell community, I ask the minister to urgently intervene in this matter.