Federal Government funding boost for after-hours GP services
The Health Minister, Tony Abbott, has announced two important initiatives to improve access to after-hours GP services.
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13 August 2004
Federal Government funding boost for after-hours GP servicesThe Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott, today announced two important initiatives to improve access to after-hours GP services.
The first is an offer to Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland Governments to establish six new after-hours GP clinics co-located at public hospitals, subject to the support of local doctors.
The second commits up to $5 million in grants funding to improve after-hours medical care services in seven areas across Australia. Some of these clinics will be in the community and others co-located with public hospitals.
The Commonwealth has been talking to the states about co-located clinics GP clinics for some months. Where the states accept the offer, the Commonwealth will provide access to Medicare and funding of $50,000 per clinic towards establishment costs. The states would assist by providing infrastructure and other assistance essential for delivery of these services.
Three clinics will be offered to New South Wales: at Lismore, Liverpool and Nepean hospital emergency departments. Two will be offered to Victoria to be set up next to the emergency departments of Northern Hospital and Sunshine Hospital. The sixth clinic is proposed to be adjacent to the emergency department at Redcliffe Hospital in Queensland.
"The Commonwealth is prepared to play its part in improving access to after-hours medical services, complementing services available in emergency departments," Mr Abbott said.
The operation of these six proposed co-located clinics will be based on the model currently operating in two co-located after hours clinics in Western Australia.
The Government is also providing up to $5 million in additional funding grants for after-hours-services in other parts of Australia. This complements the one-year extension of funding for the existing After Hours Primary Medical Care Programme announced on 10 August.
A further seven applicants under the programme will be invited to work with the Department of Health and Ageing to develop their proposals to establish new after-hours GPs services to their local communities.
"As part of the arrangements they will be asked to ensure that there is cooperation and support from local GPs and Divisions of General Practice," Mr Abbott said.
Applicants being invited to develop their proposals are:
- Whitehorse Division of General Practice (Vic);
- Eastern Ranges GP Association (Vic);
- Northern Territory Remote Health Workforce Agency (NT)
- Rural Doctors Workforce Agency (SA);
- Adelaide Northern Division of General Practice (SA);
- Queensland Rural Medical Support Agency (Qld); and
- Mornington Peninsula and Frankston Medicentre (Vic).
"In making these decisions I have listened to the concerns of the local communities and their representatives to better meet their needs," Mr Abbott said.
For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220.