Overseas trained GPs may be forced to leave a rural Queensland practice because Malcolm Turnbull’s second rate NBN is leaving them with substandard internet access.
Under Labor, Barcaldine would have got a super-fast version of the NBN that uses fibre optic cable to deliver speeds of up to one gigabit per second.
Instead, Tony Abbott is building a second rate network that will leave Barcaldine in Bruce Scott’s safe LNP seat with a second rate version of the NBN and they don’t even know when they will get that.
According to Australian Rural Doctor, that’s left overseas doctors working at Outback Medical Services in Barcaldine unable to complete their online GP training because a lack of capacity at the local telephone exchange means they cannot access the internet at home.
The doctors have been told they could get mobile internet but this has data download limits that make it unsuitable for online GP training.
One of the doctors has told the ABC “When I tell [my overseas relatives] that we don’t have internet here, they sort of get really amused – ‘you are living in a developed country and you don’t have internet access’?”
Another GP at the practice from the UK has also warned “If this is not resolved and it stays on like this and my family is not happy, then I have to think of something else basically. We have to see other options.”
The loss of these doctors would be a devastating blow to Barcaldine and surrounding areas and further demonstrates the damage being across the nation by the Abbott Government’s blatant broken promise to give all Australians access to the NBN by the end of 2016.
The NBN is now rolling out slower than Malcolm Turnbull promised and it is going to cost more than Malcolm Turnbull promised.
Meanwhile, the people of Barcaldine are left without reliable internet access – they deserve better.