Pat Conroy, Member for Shortland and Dan Repacholi, Labor’s candidate for Hunter will today be meeting with community members and local doctors at Toronto Diggers to discuss the urgent need to save Lake Macquarie’s GP Access After Hours (GPAAH) service.
As a direct result of a $560,000 funding cut from the Liberal-National Coalition, from 1 January, the GPAAH clinics at both Belmont and Toronto Hospitals will be forced to cut their operating hours in half on weekends and public holidays – exactly when this service is needed the most.
Unbelievably, this cut could be just the beginning.
There is a review currently sitting on the Health Minister, Greg Hunt’s desk which if approved will see the remaining $4 million of funding for the Hunter’s GPAAH clinics slashed to just $1 million.
If that happens, that will effectively be the end of this vital service.
Over 11,000 people across the Hunter region have signed Labor’s petition calling on the Morrison-Joyce Government to restore the funding.
Pat Conroy described the cuts as nonsensical.
“Families and doctors have told me they are outraged, worried, and in disbelief,” he said.
“No one can understand why the Morrison-Joyce Government would cut the funding to this essential health service.
“This is just the latest attack on from Liberal-National Governments who seem content to continuously threaten the health outcomes of people in our community.”
Dan Repacholi said that the Hunter cannot afford to lose the GPAAH service.
“These clinics are as important for families as they are for our health system as a whole, as they take stress off emergency departments and reduce wait times for patients,” he said.
“It beggars’ belief that the Morrison-Joyce Government would attack the GPAAH service during a global pandemic.
“The health and wellbeing of my community is invaluable, and I will fight tooth and nail to save our GPAAH clinics.”