House debates

Monday, 22 February 2021

Statements by Members

Mallee Electorate: Mallee Track Health and Community Service

4:14 pm

Photo of Anne WebsterAnne Webster (Mallee, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am passionate about healthcare delivery in regional and rural towns and cities. In Mallee, we have one of the poorest ratios of GPs to patients. Last week, I visited a particular service in Ouyen called Mallee Track Health and Community Service, run by Lois O'Callaghan. Lois and the chair, Joy Lynch, were both at the meeting and took me around their facility one more time. It's a multipurpose service and totally appropriate for Ouyen. Ouyen is around 1,000 people, with many small outlying towns. The only way they can service that community with GPs is by actually having locums come in. You can imagine the toll on the financial bottom line of pulling in locums to deliver GP services. This is a tragedy in regional and rural Victoria and particularly in my electorate of Mallee. They are aware of the pilot that is taking place now in south-west New South Wales, and I am keen to see that that particular pilot comes to Mallee next. I've been speaking with the minister about that. The model aims to increase community preparedness, bolster workforce training and capacity, and expand the use of flexible telehealth services. Lois, Joy and I all want to see funding for these trials extended to Mallee and particularly our remote areas, where the greatest challenges exist when it comes to health care. (Time expired)