RACGP thanks Queensland Premier for her service

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has thanked Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for her service to the state of Queensland.

Ms Palaszczuk announced her retirement at a press conference yesterday, she will step down as premier at the end of the week, and as the member for Inala at the end of the year.

RACGP President and Mackay-based GP Dr Nicole Higgins thanked Premier Palaszczuk.

“On behalf of GPs and practice teams across the state that we both love, I thank Premier Palaszczuk for her leadership and wish her all the best for whatever comes next,” she said.

“Her Government heeded the concerns of Queensland GPs and practice teams and led the country on the payroll tax front. We have warned governments across Australia that a new interpretation of payroll tax is threatening the future of general practice care. Premier Palaszczuk’s Government not only listened to us but acted decisively to provide that patient fees paid directly by a patient to a GP for that GP’s services will not be subject to this tax. I encourage all states and territories to follow Queensland’s lead so that practices aren’t forced to hike fees or close their doors.

“I look forward to working with the new premier to investigate all options for keeping people out of hospital beds. For example, if all patients in Queensland see their GP within seven days of a hospital visit, we can stop them returning to hospital – a win-win for all concerned.”

RACGP Queensland Chair Dr Cathryn Hester also thanked Premier Palaszczuk.

“Thank you for your years of service leading our great state,” she said.

“Premier Palaszczuk did a tremendous job during the COVID-19 pandemic, making very challenging decisions to help keep the community safe. It was a trying and uncertain time, and she did everything possible to save lives and ensure the state’s health system didn’t buckle under the strain of the virus.

“Her Government was responsible for instituting a series of progressive reforms, including introducing voluntary assisted dying and decriminalising abortion. It took great courage to not only pursue these efforts but get them over the line.

“The RACGP also praised Premier Palaszczuk for achieving drug law reform to help people address their illicit drug use via diversionary programs rather than being punished in the criminal justice system, and for becoming just the second Australian jurisdiction to introduce fixed and mobile drug testing sites. Whilst I’m mindful that not everyone in the community, including some College members, are supportive of these measures; I believe that Premier Palaszczuk is on the right side of history and that these changes will save lives.

“I look forward to working with the new leader of our state to make the critical changes we called for in our recent budget submission, including improved cooperation between hospitals and general practice, attracting more GPs to live and work in the bush, and creating a Child Health Record. We live in a vast state with communities scattered far and wide, and it is our mission to ensure that all patients can get the care they need, when they need it, regardless of postcode or income.”

/Public Release.