Media Release - GP Access Saved

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22 May 2015

Following a concerted campaign from the Newcastle and Hunter community, GP Access has been saved with a last minute offer today to extend funding for 12 months.

Hunter Labor MPs welcomed the announcement but were critical of the way the Abbott Liberal Government have treated GP Access and our community.

Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, said “It is most welcome news that GP Access will be able to continue operating beyond 30 June.”

“The community came out in force to defend this highly valued service – thousands of people signed my petition, letters were written and phone calls made. We made sure our community’s voice was heard loud and clear and the Government has finally reacted.”

Member for Charlton, Pat Conroy said “Whilst this news is welcome it is a shame the government mishandled the whole process. It shows a lack of respect for our region.”

“Let’s not forget that the Government broke their promise and cut the Medicare Local program that was working really well here in our region. Their transition to the new Primary Health Network and handling of existing well-run services, like GP Access, has been shambolic.”

Member for Shortland, Jill Hall, said “I’m glad the Abbott Government came to their senses and have funded GP Access.”

“We all know the difference it makes in our community and the relief it provides for our already stretched hospital emergency departments.”

Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, said “This is not a Government or a Minister making measured and responsible decisions, this is a Government reacting from crisis to crisis.”

“It’s no way to run a business, it’s no way to run an economy and its most definitely no way to deal with people’s health. While today’s announcement of a 12 month extension of funding for GP Access is welcome, I hope the Government can get their act together so that we aren’t in the same position waiting for funding this time next year”

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle