25 July 2011 Joint Media Release the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing and Andrew Southcott MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Healthcare.
Labor’s latest GP ‘super clinic’ debacle which could cost the NSW town of Narrandera its sole dentist has highlighted the Gillard Government’s inability to see the harm of its ill-considered policies.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said today Health Ministers Nicola Roxon and Mark Butler were delusional about their so-called GP ‘super clinics’.
“How can any Minister declare a ‘super clinic’ that bulldozes an existing dental practice and then doesn’t replace it as a “great addition” to the community?”
“Minister Butler’s response to the news that the community may be left without a dental practice, forcing its residents to drive more than an hour to another town, is nonsensical,” Mr Dutton said.
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Healthcare Andrew Southcott said the Narrandera situation (as reported by The Australian) was only the latest in a string of bad news stories regarding GP Super Clinics.
“Earlier this month a GP Super Clinic in Tasmania opened with fewer doctors than the clinic it replaced.”
“This incompetent Government just can’t get anything right and it must rectify this situation in Narrandera. The community deserves to be told what the Government will do to ensure it continues to have dental services or it stands condemned,” Dr Southcott added.
Mr Dutton said the entire GP ‘super clinic’ program was a huge waste of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars.
“The Coalition has constantly warned about the negative impacts of Labor’s policy,” Mr Dutton said.
He said only a handful of the so-called ‘super clinics’ were now considered “fully functioning” – four years after they were promised.
Mr Dutton said many of the clinics were not providing the services the Minister had promised.
He said rather than competing with existing services the Government should have been aiding them to supplement health services.
Dr Southcott said that if the GP Super Clinics money had been directed at funding existing practices to expand, each GP practice across Australia would have received $90,000.”
“The entire premise of Labor’s failed GP Super Clinics program was to enhance allied health services in the community, not shut them down,” Dr Southcott said
“Labor has been a failure in health – across the board – promising big and absolutely failing to deliver,” Mr Dutton concluded.