Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has expressed serious concerns for the health welfare of regional, rural and remote Australians after the Minister for Health, Mark Butler, said Australians should just “ring around” to find a bulk-billing GP in their area.
It comes after the Minister moved the goalposts regarding Distribution Priority Areas for GPs – bringing Newcastle, Wollongong and some suburbs of Sydney into the scheme therefore stripping doctors from the regions – forcing of community pharmacies to pick up the tab for its 60-day medicine dispensing policy – putting services in regional communities under threat.
“The Health Minister, through his own words, has shown a complete disdain of those who live, work and pay taxes in regional, rural and remote Australia,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is cold comfort for those in the Central West who may only have access to one GP or have to travel many kilometres to even see a doctor, let alone have the luxury of choice.
“It is clear the Health Minister is being directed by the Australian Medical Association along with his fellow Labor Ministers who are led by the nose by their union puppet masters.