Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Health Matt Conlan
A Better Way To Spend $5 Million
Victor P Taffa
Shadow Health Minister, Matt Conlan, says he hopes the appointment of a new Federal Health Minister will lead to a renewed commitment to the provision of after-hours GP services across the Northern Territory.
Mr. Conlan said he was encouraged by the apparent change in focus of the new Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, and the allocation of grants to boost after-hours medical services in the Territory.
“The Country Liberals have been pushing for improved after hours services for some time, and earlier this year the Parliament supported our call for a renewed focus on additional after-hours GPs.” Mr. Conlan said.
“While its unfortunate only one clinic in the Territory received a $100,000 Commonwealth grant to extend its hours, I’m hopeful there will be more to come in the future.”
“The Government should re-allocate the $5 Million it has set aside for another GP Superclinic and use the money to assist existing clinics to increase their operating hours.” Mr. Conlan said.
“The GP Superclinic has done nothing to ease waiting times at emergency departments across the Territory and has threatened the viability of other GP clinics operating in the vicinity.”
“I hope Ms. Plibersek sees the wisdom of supporting existing operators as a way of boosting after-hours services and allocates more grants across the Territory.” Mr. Conlan said.