Former President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and well known and respected Tasmanian GP, Dr Bastian Seidel will now lead a team of doctors seeing Bruny Island residents and visitors at the Bruny Island Medical Centre.
This move follows the Huon Medical Group signing a 10-year contract with the State Government to provide comprehensive GP services to the island community.
Since opening in 2010, the multi-million Bruny Island Health Centre has struggled to retain General Practitioners, forcing island residents to find GPs in Kingston and Hobart.
Huon Medical Group Chair Dr Bastian Seidel said the Bruny Island community deserved continuity of care and comprehensive GP services, rather than ad hoc locums.
“Residents and visitors to Bruny Island will now have face–to–face access to a local GP on the island three days a week from 10am to 4pm,” Dr Seidel said.
“We will also be available via video-link or phone, supported by the outstanding local community nurses for an additional two days a week.
“We will be seeing patients as of Monday, 10 December 2018 with me as the main GP, and I’m delighted that a great group local GPs from the Huon Medical Group will be providing regular sessions on Bruny Island.
“Dr Louise Butler, Dr Angela Retchford, Dr Vanessa Hewson, Dr Alexandra Seidel and Dr Phillip Pullinger are outstanding rural GPs and as a team we will be able to provide comprehensive and highly evidence-based health care to the local island community.
“Our GPs understand the needs of rural communities and importantly we understand how to navigate our patients through the maze of Tasmania’s health system.
“While we have been consulting closely with members of the Bruny Island Action Group, myself and the team are looking forward to getting to know the residents better and becoming part of the local community.
“Most importantly, we are excited to be able to provide an important role in keeping the Bruny Island community healthy, with a strong focus on preventative health.
“In order to reduce Tasmania’s chronic disease burden, we must support community-based healthcare such as the Bruny Island Medical Centre, with GP’s working alongside nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists and other health professionals to ensure a team based and holistic approach that meets the need of our communities.”
Dr Seidel said with tourist numbers increasing on Bruny Island, he also expected to see a number of visitors to ensure they still have a positive experience in the instance they are unwell.
Bruny Island Medical will start seeing patients on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 4pm. On other days nurse supported video and phone consultations with the GP are available from 10 am to 4pm. For urgent consultations Dr Seidel and the team will be available on the phone or via video link 24/7.