Following an investment of $28.7 million from the Albanese Labor Government the GP Access After Hours Clinic at Belmont Hospital will see it’s hours restored from today.
From 31 July, hours will also be extended at the recently reopened Calvary Mater Hospital GPAAH clinic. On Sundays the clinic will now be open until 10pm, and increase of 6 hours.
After two years of Liberal cuts, operating hours were reduced at the GP Access After Hours clinics at Belmont Hospital, Maitland Hospital, John Hunter Hospital and the Toronto Polyclinic, while the clinic at Calvary Mater Newcastle closed its doors completely on Christmas Eve in 2021.
Leading up to the election, Hunter Labor MPs, joined the community in campaigning to restore this much cherished service.
In its first budget, the Albanese Labor Government provided $28.7 million to restore the GP Access After Hour Services to full capacity and provide funding certainty into the future.
The restoration of hours at Belmont Hospital and Calvary Mater is the latest tranche in the rollout to restore this service and the Albanese Government will continue working with the Primary Health Network as services continue to be restored at Toronto Polyclinic.
GP Access clinics offer face to face and telehealth primary care services outside business hours. These services are bulk billed to anyone with a Medicare card, and delivered by GPs and Registered Nurses, reducing the barrier to access care, and preventing visits to the Emergency Department.
The Belmont Hospital clinic will be open weekdays from 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturdays from 1:00pm – 10:00pm and Sundays from 3:00pm – 10:00pm. Appointments must be booked via the GP Access call centre on 1300 130 147.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Albanese Government has delivered on its commitment to restore the GP Access After Hours clinic, after the former Liberal government cut funding forcing the service to close its doors.
“The much-needed service at Belmont will again be able to provide families in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie the care they need, when they need it – and reduce pressure on local hospitals.”
Quotes attributable to Minister Conroy:
“Today is a huge victory for the Lake Macquarie community, who campaigned hard to get the Belmont Hospital GP Access After Hours service, along with the other clinics, restored.”
“I am so proud to be part of a government listening to our community and ensuring more people have access to GP when they need it, whilst taking pressure off our emergency departments”.
Quotes attributable to Sharon Claydon MP:
“The extension of hours at the Calvary Mater After Hours Clinic means Novocastrians will have increased access to free quality primary healthcare outside business hours, where the only card you need is your Medicare card.”