21 May 2013

Rural GPs bemoan lack of Budget support

7:18 am on 21 May 2013

The Rural General Practice Network is criticising the Government for not recognising the need in this year's Budget to tackle the growing rural suicide rate.

Rural representatives have been working to raise awareness about the problem, driven by health statistics that show a significantly higher suicide level than in urban areas.

Rural GP Network chairman Dr Scott-Jones says there's a shortage of support services outside towns and cities for people suffering from depression, and the Budget should have included some extra funding to address that.

He says resources are needed for rural general practices to get access to training as well as support for them to provide longer consultations for patients with mental problems.

Dr Scott-Jones says the umbrella group Rural Health Alliance may decide on a direct approach to the Government.