Abbott assurance on health services

Before the debate, Labor candidate for Swan John Bissett warned that Tony Abbott would cut local health services to the bone if he won government on Saturday.

He said Mr Abbott planned to scrap the Bentley-Armadale Medicare Local and sack its 55 frontline health workers.

‘The Labor Government is investing $1.8 billion for Medicare Locals, which are designed to put decisions about health services in the hands of the people who know best ” our local community,’ Mr Bissett said.

‘The Bentley-Armadale Medicare Local provides a range of vital services for the local community. This includes three after-hours clinics which provide care for those patients who require medical care when their normal surgery is closed.

‘These frontline services are vital, particularly in an area like Swan, as more young families move into the area.’

Swan MHR Steve Irons said he was supportive of the Bentley-Armadale Medicare Local ” formerly the Canning Division of GPs.

‘Along with Rodney Redmond and the community, I successfully fought against plans by the Gillard Government to partition our local health board and we got a good result for the people of Swan,’ he said.

He said the latest claim that the Coalition will abolish all Medicare Local programs and sack 3000 frontline health staff was just more ‘hysteria.’

‘It is totally false,’ he said.

Mr Irons said the Medicare Locals were administrative bodies that are supposed to coordinate services and support health professionals who provide the services to patients

‘The Coalition continues to provide in-principle support for that role, but we want to ensure funding is not being chewed up by administrative costs instead of going to the patients.’

The Bentley-Armadale Medicare Local region covers the Town of Victoria Park, the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale and the cities of South Perth, Belmont, Canning, Gosnells and Armadale.