Tax eats into pledge


Tax eats into pledge

Better health: Shane Dunlop of Contract Control, John Turner of Wonthaggi Medical Group, Labor candidate for Bass, Gerry Lonergan, Senator David Feeney, federal Labor candidate for McMillan Christine Maxfield and Dr Nola Maxfield, Wonthaggi Medical Clinic.

By Matt Dunn
BOTH major parities have been accused of failing rural Australia on health in the lead-up to the federal election this Saturday.
The president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, Dr Nola Maxfield, was “extremely” disappointed by the lack of commitment by Labor and the Coalition, despite Labor announcing more than $500,000 to build new premises for the Wonthaggi Medical Group.
That funding was announced by Dr Maxfield’s sister-in-law, Labor candidate for McMillan, Christine Maxfield, but Dr Maxfield, a Wonthaggi GP, said the money was not all it was advertised to be.
“The grant is for $500,000, which is really good, until you realise the amount is taxable, so you’ve got to give a whole lot back to the government again. It goes some of the way toward addressing problems in the region,” she said.
“Otherwise there’s not been a lot that’s come out about rural health from either of the parties this election.
“We’ve been jumping up and down and rural people have been jumping up and down. There’s been a bit of talk about health, but it’s mainly been about big city hospitals and waiting lists and emergency department waiting times. They forget about people in rural communities.”
The Labor candidate was joined by Senator David Feeney on Friday for the announcement of $501,500 to construct a new health facility on an existing site to provide extensive training facilities and resources for students, interns and registrars. Ms Maxfield said she had talked to people throughout McMillan during the election campaign, and there were two central issues on people’s minds.  
“Still, the main concerns are health and education – but health particularly. I think in regional areas it’s even more exposed – the lack of GPs and the waiting times in emergency. They’re the really critical things people feel quite strongly about,” she said.
Liberal incumbent Russell Broadbent said his party had helped address the doctors’ shortage in the region by establishing the School of Medicine at Monash University, which offered 45 places to trainee doctors.
He said his priorities were making sure Leongatha Hospital and West Gippsland Hospital at Warragul had the best facilities on offer – something he believes would help retain doctors in the region.  
“At the moment our hospitals need rebuilding. I know there’s been some commitment from the Labor government in Victoria to Leongatha Hospital, but it needs a bigger commitment from the Federal Government to rebuild that hospital,” Mr Broadbent said.
Asked whether the Coalition would fix the problems if it won government, Mr Broadbent said: “I’d be working towards a rebuilding of Leongatha Hospital and West Gippsland Hospital at Warragul.”

Short URL:

Posted by SiteAdmin on Aug 17 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *