Mr Gray said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott planned to scrap the PSCML, an independent government-funded organisation that aims to integrate services to fill the gaps in local health provision in Rockingham and Kwinana.
The organisation, which funds the Rockingham After Hours Clinic, will operate the yet-to-be-built Rockingham Super GP Clinic and was recently announced as the agency that would deliver youth mental health services at Headspace in Rockingham from January.
‘Headspace will support young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues, and provide early interventions and help them fully participate in the social and economic life of our community,’ Mr Gray said.
‘Without Perth South Coastal Medicare Local, neither this Headspace service nor the Rockingham After Hours Clinic would be able to operate.’
Opposition Health spokesman Peter Dutton has sidestepped the question of whether the Coalition planned to shut Medicare Locals, despite previously implying that would be the case, releasing a statement in May that the party would ‘formally review the structure of Medicare Locals if elected’.
He said the nation’s 61 Medicare Locals cost $493 million over four years to establish with annual core funding of $171 million a year.
Liberal candidate for Brand Donna Gordin said the Coalition had previously stated that contracts for Super Clinics, such as Rockingham, would be honoured ‘where services have improved’ and said their plan was focused on providing patient services, teaching and training, and regional, rural and remote practice.
Ms Gordin did not answer questions about whether the Opposition planned to axe Medicare Locals, what she thought of the alleged plan or what this would mean for local services, stating ‘we will detail our plan for primary care prior to the election’.