THE "unfair impact" of the Abbott government's first budget on rural health was on the agenda in Canberra on Thursday, during the second meeting of a "parliamentary friends of allied health" group.
While the new group has members across the political spectrum, chairman and Independent MP Andrew Wilkie confirmed neither Health Minister Peter Dutton nor Assistant Minister Fiona Nash had been invited.
The group, convened by the Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH), called on the government to abandon key budget measures.
Among them, Labor's Stephen Jones said, were the $7 GP co-payment and legislation already introduced to abolish Health Workforce Australia.
"These are the people who find out what Australia's future health workforce needs are, and they were essential to finding that out for rural, regional and remote areas," he said.
Mr Wilkie said he hoped more politicians would join the group, but that representation from the Coalition, Labor and other parties showed there was support for more to be done for rural allied health.