State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today move a Notice of Motion calling on the NSW Health Minister to save the Calvary Mater Hospital GP Access After Hours Clinic from closing.
GP Access After Hours has been a much needed and valued part of the Hunter community for over 20 years and during its time it has provided well over a million urgent after hours consultations to our region.
More than 200 dedicated local GPs, nurses and support staff have worked to ensure patients can access a GP after hours and don’t have to add to the already congested Emergency Departments at our local Hospitals.
This vital service is estimated to save NSW Health more than $20 million annually by keeping 61% of all GP Access patients out of Emergency Departments.
The Notice of Motion calls on the NSW Health Minister to work with his Federal colleagues to ensure this vital service continues.
“Our Emergency Departments are already being stretched to breaking point,” Ms Hornery said.
“The NSW Government have reduced funding for the service in recent years on the premise that the delivery of primary care services are a Commonwealth responsibility.
“However, the benefit to the NSW Health budget from the existence of the GP Access Clinics is the avoidance of Emergency Department presentations for minor medical issues.
“This takes pressure off Emergency Departments in terms of waiting times and allows the Emergency Departments resources to be spent in the areas of greatest clinical need.
“For the tiny investment of $600,000 per year, the savings to the NSW Health system is more than $20 million.
“The maths is simple. If the service closes people will flood our Emergency Departments and the cost will eat into the NSW Health Budget.
“The Health Minister needs to review this decision and work with his Federal colleagues to keep this vital service open before it is lost forever,” said Ms Hornery.