Battle over bureaucracy

Perth South Coastal Medicare Local manager Karen Rowe, managing director Peter Cook, nurse Annmarie Parker and chief executive Paul Hersey. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d391260
Perth South Coastal Medicare Local manager Karen Rowe, managing director Peter Cook, nurse Annmarie Parker and chief executive Paul Hersey. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d391260

Ms Gordin said, if elected, the Coalition’s priority would be to increase patient services and cut bureaucracy.

Mr Hersey said he understood the debate around bureaucracy, but Medicare Local was delivering services directly to those who could least afford them.

‘More than 75 per cent of our staff members are directly involved in service delivery,’ he said.

‘The services we deliver in Mandurah are expanding, and we are also involved in supporting primary care services and GPs.

‘Our Mandurah Health Reference Group meets regularly to identify health and service gaps in the Mandurah region.’

The Mandurah GP After Hours clinic has had 1895 consultations since it opened in November and is expected to grow to more than 2000 by the end of April.

During the week, the Anstruther Road clinic provides mental health and chronic disease services.

In March, there were almost 100 appointments for Medicare Local mental health services, and almost 40 individual appointments for chronic disease and healthy lifestyle programs.

The Coalition plan would increase support to GP superclinics.

Mr Hersey said Perth South Coastal Medicare Local supported superclinics, provided they worked in conjunction, rather than in competition, with local GPs.

‘Perth South Coastal Medicare Local supports the development of health infrastructure,’ he said.

‘We believe in projects that don’t compete with existing local practices, like the Rockingham Superclinic, that will provide allied health services to support GPs.’

A Department of Health and Ageing spokesman said a Coalition Government would scrap Medicare Locals and the jobs it created.

The spokesman said 30 GP Super Clinics were open across Australia, with one operational in Midland in WA while two regional clinics were providing early services while under construction.