Labor’s health cuts to leave more gaps in rural services
24 March 2021
Grassroots programs that support healthier communities across the Euroa electorate are at risk of being axed under an Andrews Labor Government plan to cut funding to Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs).
Funding for PCPs will end on July 1, with the Minister for Health refusing to guarantee Labor will allocate long-term funding when asked by The Nationals in State Parliament last week.
The Minister ominously described PCPs as being in a “process of change and transition”.
Member for Euroa and Nationals’ deputy leader Steph Ryan said local PCPs played a crucial role in our community.
“PCPs are the quiet champions coordinating better access to health care and services in our local communities,” Ms Ryan said.
“Many people have probably never heard of them but have likely benefitted from their vital work.
“If the Andrews Labor Government goes ahead with its plan to axe them, it will leave a massive health service gap in rural communities that already struggle with access to health care.”
PCPs were also forced to fight for survival in 2019, but after a campaign strongly supported by The Nationals, they secured a funding extension.
Cultural awareness training, in-depth research into chronic pain and trauma following catastrophic bushfires and frontline mental health outreach support services are just some of the programs they co-ordinate.
“PCPs pull together a disparate group of local health providers to build healthier communities,” Ms Ryan said.
“Even former Health Minister Daniel Andrews said Primary Care Partnerships do “significant work to help people with chronic illnesses”, but his Labor Government is now threatening to axe them.
“Ending this funding threatens to destroy two decades of work to build trust in the community and strong local networks.”
Victoria’s 28 PCPs link in with approximately 600 organisations, including hospitals, community health services, Primary Health Networks, councils, local Indigenous communities, mental health services, drug treatment services and disability services.
Five PCPs cover the Euroa electorate including: Bendigo Loddon PCP, Lower Hume PCP, Goulburn Valley PCP, Central Hume PCP, Campaspe Shire PCP.