“Residents of Scottsdale. As you know, Dr McGinity has been suspended by the Medical Council and his case may take some while to be heard. As Minister responsible for medical services I have taken immediate steps to engage a competent replacement for Dr McGinity during the period that his case is to be heard.

I would like you to welcome Dr Locum whose expertise is (deleted personal information) and who will be starting to serve your community with immediate effect.  Thank you.”

How hard is that?

To me, the key issue for the State government is not the process of his suspension and its resolution, it is the continuity of medical services to the community of Scottsdale.

Given that the Medical Council can withdraw the services of a doctor without reference to community needs, as happened in this case, then it is reasonable that the service provider, in this case the government of Tasmania, acts to assure the residents access to medical services.

This has not been the case with Minister Giddings who instead is sticking to the line that the government cannot interfere in the process. This is a diversion. The Minister can certainly act to assure continuity of medical services.

When people are paying for a service, as the Scottsdale community is paying for medical services, then surely they are entitled to receive that service.

But here we are facing a potential pandemic of swine flu, allowing a huge reduction in medical services in Scottsdale potentially for 6 months of more, without taking urgent steps to assure that taxpayers are receiving the services for which they are paying. Worse, we are excusing ourselves from that responsibility.

Even more strangely, when I’ve made that particular point on relevant Mercury blogs, they have failed to publish that comment while publishing many others that speculate about Dr McGinity’s guilt or innocence.

So not only does the government fail to deliver, the media won’t report it.

Does this mean that the GMU vets all of the comments?

It’s time the government woke up to its responsibilities to the people of Tasmania.

 

MIKE BOLAN

Here’s what I thought the Minister could usefully say in Scottsdale …