- On November 10, 2016
- NSW Doctor
AMA (NSW) works in a number of ways to assist members with issues that impact their ability to provide top quality care to their patients.
AMA (NSW) was recently contacted by two GPs who were having difficulty obtaining parking permits to continue much needed home visits to patients in Redfern.
Dr Marie Healy and Dr Adrian Jones provide invaluable primary care to disadvantaged patients who otherwise would not have access to a doctor. This includes patients who have mobility issues, are elderly and frail, or simply too unwell to come to the surgery.
Dr Healy noted in her correspondence with the City of Sydney, “Home visits are not easy, which is why few doctors offer them. They are not profitable, even less so when bulk billed. They can be dangerous, and I have been threatened during home visits in Redfern. They are inconvenient, especially when it is raining, or the patient is very slow, and they are clinically challenging as you do not have an examination couch, good lighting, or nursing assistance.”
Despite this, Dr Healy and Dr Jones feel compelled to continue home visits.
“Many people we see do not get routine medical care without our visits. Home visits are vital for keeping the most vulnerable patients out of hospital and coping in their homes, not to mention the times we have saved lives by providing urgent visits.”
After a long campaign, which involved a significant amount of correspondence, and a petition signed by patients, Dr Healy and Dr Jones were granted residential parking permits. However, these parking permits were to expire 1 September 2016 and attempts to renew the permits had not been successful.
Dr Healy told the City of Sydney, “I have researched all the alternatives to using my own car but there are no viable options ... Home visits are costly as it is, and so expensive private parking is out of the question. Car sharing services are inappropriate given the unpredictable and sometimes urgent nature of home visits. Being driven around home visits by the local neighbourhood centre worker (a “solution” that was recommended by council in 2011) is too ridiculous to contemplate.”
AMA (NSW) President Prof Brad Frankum contacted the City of Sydney directly in support of these doctors.
Shortly after, AMA (NSW) was pleased to hear that common sense prevailed, and the City of Sydney granted both Dr Healy and Dr Jones parking permits. AMA (NSW) would like to applaud the efforts of these doctors and their care for patients. dr.