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Call My Doctor closing down

Call My Doctor’s Rita El Ouchami and Lindsay Stewart were all smiles earlier this year as they launched the service, but now less than four months on it will close this week.

IN-HOME after-hours doctor and telehealth service Call My Doctor will close down this week.

Call My Doctor has been operating on the Tablelands since March this year, and as recently as a fortnight ago the company announced via a press release their plans to launch 100% fully bulk-billed clinics in the Mareeba, Atherton and Cairns areas.

However, those plans have appeared to have come to a halt due to a pay dispute between Call My Doctor and the organisation who agreed to fund the service – North Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN).

Call My Doctor Managing Director Lindsay Stewart claims that NQPHN are refusing to pay what was agreed upon in their contracts.

“We are running a service that we won by tender, and they asked us to commence telehealth as soon as possible, which we did and they have not paid,” he said.

“We supply in-home service and they don’t pay.

“We were going to start four bulk-billing clinics in the region, which are now on hold.”

Mr Stewart said that if this matter was to go to court, it will be an easy process to prove deliberate mishandling of taxpayers’ funds, and misleading conduct to gain advantage by non-payment of invoices.

“The service in Mareeba and Atherton has been delivered,” he said.

“I now understand why, when Government puts out tenders in the region, companies will not go and supply services because they just don’t pay and hide behind their mistakes until companies get into financial trouble because of their non-payment.

“It was a simple contract of topping up calls to 15 for both the in-home and telehealth service.

“If any calls were made which we could claim on Medicare, we would reduce our invoice accordingly.”

Mr Stewart noted that the NQPHN will be the major debtor for the Tablelands losing such an important medical service in the region.

“He (NQPHN Chief Executive Officer John Gregg) is now claiming our services and invoices are unlawful,” he said.

“Could someone with authority take him off this and get someone that is professional to sort the wasted 11 weeks of him waiting for us to fall over.

“I am Australian, I don’t give up, especially to people that use their position to hide and mislead.

“In any other business he would have been stood aside by now, however I just want the invoices paid. Services provided, payment needed.”

For those who want to see the service stay operational on the Tablelands, you can show your support by getting in contact with Call My Doctor Managing Director Lindsay Stewart via email at lindsay@callmydoctor.com.au

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