Coalition plans to axe a proposed 24-hour medical advice hotline have been slammed by the AGPN, which argues the move would leave nationwide gaps in after-hours care.
The after-hours hotline was included in the Government’s $417 million plan to establish Medicare Locals, with after-hours care a key part of the new bodies remit.
AGPN CEO David Butt said he was disappointed that after-hours care was not a priority for the Opposition.
“It means that we won’t get the opportunity to expand access for the Australian community to better after-hours care,” he said.
The Gillard Government last week announced the funding cut would slash 166,200 GP services and 592,100 nurse triage services.
“These cuts to after hour’s services would mean that a family whose child wakes up sick at night will be more likely to need to turn to an emergency department,” a spokesperson for Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.
The plans to axe the proposed 24-hour medical advice hotline follow the release of the AGPN’s “election manifesto” outlining their key priorities for the federal election.
The manifesto calls for increased funding for “enhanced services” including after-hours care and comprehensive primary healthcare centres.
Outlining their key priorities the AGPN said “flexible funds” were required to co-ordinate the regional implementation of evidence-based health promotion programs.
Among the recommendations in the manifesto is the inclusion of obesity in the Medicare Benefits Schedule as well as the implementation of evidence based programs such as GP Health Access, an online health and wellness program.
The manifesto also calls on an increase in the number of headspace mental health services and an expansion of the Access To Allied Psychological Services program.
Tags: , Obesity