MEDIA RELEASE - Closure of Calvary Mater GP Access clinic another blow to primary healthcare in Hunter Region
23 December 2021
The Morrison Government has delivered the worst Christmas present imaginable to the Newcastle and Hunter region by failing to take responsibility and fund our GP Access After Hours Service before its closure on Christmas Eve.
GP Access has played a vital role in relieving pressure on our local hospital emergency departments for more than twenty years, treating more than a million patients since its inception.
However, due to eight years of savage cuts to Medicare under liberal governments, GP Access will tomorrow close its doors at the Calvary Mater Hospital permanently and significantly reduce the operating hours at its four remaining clinics.
The Morrison Government is completely abandoning Novocastrians by cutting this essential primary healthcare service in a time when our community needs it most.
Slashing this much-loved service will have a profoundly negative impact for our community and will place enormous pressure on our public hospital emergency departments.
Keeping this service fully operational makes good sense from a social and public health perspective, but it also makes good economic sense, saving our health system up to $21 million per annum.
Over 11,500 people have signed the petition and this number continues to grow every day.
Hundreds of people from the community have reached out to share their stories of what this service means to them and their families.
They have expressed their dismay and disbelief, their frustration and anger over these reckless cuts.
It is madness to cut a service that is saving the government millions of dollars every year and the Morrison Government’s refusal to restore funding to our GP Access is pathetic.
The GP Access funding shortfall is a drop in the ocean for the Commonwealth’s budget, but the ripple effect is enormous – hurting tens of thousands of families who currently use the service.
Our community, our hospitals, and our frontline workers will suffer because of the short-sightedness of this tired eight-year-old liberal government who are truly out of touch with the Hunter region.