Media Releases


July 21, 2022

The Albanese Government is delivering on one of its core election commitments and has today recognised more suburbs throughout the Central Coast as a Distribution Priority Area (DPA) for GPs.

There is a critical GP shortage across the Central Coast and this change in DPA classification will mean local practices can recruit more GPs from a wider pool of doctors.

GP catchments to be given DPA status include Toukley-Budgewoi, Wyong, Bateau Bay-The Entrance, Erina, Terrigal, Kincumber-Box Head, Gosford, and Kariong.

The Albanese Government will also maintain the exceptional circumstances review for DPA classifications, so other regions can be recognised as a priority in the future if the need arises.

Federal Member for Shortland, Pat Conroy MP says this is really positive news for the Central Coast. 

“This was one of the biggest commitments Labor took to the election and I am pleased we’ve been able to deliver it so quickly,” he said.

“Updating the Distribution Priority Area classification for our region will make it much easier for local GP practices to recruit and retain doctors from the Bonded Medical Program and overseas trained doctors, leading to greater supply.

“This change will not only take stress off local GPs, it will also reduce patient wait times, making it much easier for them to see their doctor.”

Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health and Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride MP says this is a crucial step forward in improving access to healthcare on the Coast.

“The Coast has been struggling with a GP shortage for years with locals waiting weeks for routine appointments, practices closing their books, and doctors reaching burn-out,” Assistant Minister McBride said.

“That’s why our Central Coast Labor team committed to recognising more suburbs in our region as a priority, so local practices can recruit and retain more doctors and so locals can access the healthcare they need when they need it, close to home.”

Member for Robertson, Dr. Gordon Reid MP has welcomed the announcement, saying he recognises how hard it is to access a GP on the Central Coast.

“As an emergency doctor, I saw firsthand how the lack of GPs on the Central Coast put pressure on emergency departments in our public hospitals,” Dr. Reid said.

“Residents often tell me about the difficulties they have in finding a doctor that will take on new patients, and I am proud to be part of a Federal Labor Government that has listened to our community and is working to address those issues so we can improve access to healthcare and take the pressure off local hospitals.”