Review puts health services in doubt

PSCML has offices in Medina, Rockingham and Mandurah, running services including an after-hours clinic, mental health care and dial-a-doctor service.

The previous federal government established dozens of Medicare Locals across Australia in 2011, to fill the gap in primary health care services.

But the program drew criticism from the Coalition during the September election campaign, including Brand Liberal candidate Donna Gordin who questioned the number of bureaucrats it employed.

A spokesman for Health Minister Peter Dutton said the Government was reviewing the program but would not say when that would be complete.

‘The Coalition is committed to delivering as much as possible of taxpayer dollars spent in health into frontline services to direct benefit of patients.’

PSCML chief executive Paul Hersey said he supported the review as it gave PSCML a chance to show Mr Dutton how it was improving health care services in the region.

Mr Hersey said he was not told of the scope of the review but was confident Mr Dutton would see the progress the program had made addressing gaps in local health services.

‘PSCML has 49 frontline professionals working with patients. In this region, which has above-average health risk factors, an organisation like ours ensures health funding targets local need, to gives our community the best chance of improving health and reducing health costs in the long term.’

Brand MHR Gary Gray said Mr Dutton was breaking a promise that no Medicare Locals would close under a Coalition government.