House debates

Thursday, 27 June 2013


GP Super Clinics

4:56 pm

Photo of Andrew SouthcottAndrew Southcott (Boothby, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Healthcare) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to speak on the Prime Minister's failed GP Super Clinics program. It is a matter of record that during the 2007 federal election the current Prime Minister—also the new Prime Minister and the old Prime Minister—promised 31 GP superclinics around the country. Incredibly, there are now still six GP superclinics from 2007 which are not open. There is no building, no GPs, no nurses, no nothing. Those clinics are in Gladstone, Mount Isa, Redcliffe, Townsville, Wallen and Wanneroo. Six clinics which were promised in 2007 are still not open. What we have seen is that, of the 64 clinics that the Labor Party promised, less than half are open. Of the 28 clinics which were announced by the current Prime Minister in the 2010 federal budget, we have only seen two open. We have seen a GP superclinic in Modbury which opened with no doctors. We have seen the Redcliffe clinic costs balloon out from $5 million to $13.2 million. In Noarlunga we have seen a $25 million, 50-room GP superclinic opened with only two doctors. After 18 months, it only has 2½ full-time equivalent GPs.

The Prime Minister needs to explain to families around the country why we are still waiting on him to deliver on the commitments he made in 2007. The Auditor-General has reported on this program and the report was damning about the administration of this program. It found they were disproportionately weighted towards marginal electorates, something the opposition has long identified. It also found that of the 36 GP superclinics announced while the current Prime Minister was Prime Minister, only three, or less than 10 per cent, were delivered on time.

I am pleased the member for Petrie is at the desk because she went to the 2007 election and promised a GP superclinic for Redcliffe in October 2007. Now, almost 6 years later, there is no GP superclinic. The GP superclinic is not open. It was a $5 million promise. It required a bailout in 2010. It required a second bailout in 2011. Out of the 64 clinics, this has probably been one of the worst. It is very hard to explain the nondelivery of this commitment that was made to the working families in 2007, whose infants from 2007 would now be six years old.