Health plan no benefit to country

TONY Abbott’s $3.1 billion health plan has no specific benefits for country Queenslanders, president of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Dan Halliday said yesterday.

“Abbott’s sentiment for beds and improved access to GP infrastructure grants and after hours incentives is touching, however his plan does not spell out how rural Queenslanders will benefit. Country Queenslanders deal with the here and now. Waiting times just aren’t important if there is no doctor to see at all,” Dr Halliday said.

“Regional families worry about having to travel country roads to give birth in a strange town. Patients suffer because Medicare rebates alone don’t make small practices viable, yet Medicare spending on country Australians is about a billion dollars a year below what it should be.”



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