Member for Blair Shayne Neumann.
Member for Blair Shayne Neumann. Rob Williams

Medicare Locals closure chaos

SENATE hearings yesterday confirmed the cost and chaos caused by the Federal Government's decision to close all 61 Medicare Locals on June 30.

The Senate Select Committee on Health this week confirmed the government would replace Medicare Locals with a smaller number of Primary Health Networks.

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said just nine months out, no details about their number or boundaries existed, making it impossible for anyone to even tender to operate the new health networks.

"With staff unsure if they have a job, operators unsure if they have a new contract and funding already being cut, Medicare Locals are struggling to retain staff and carry out their work," he said.

Mr Neumann said Medicare Locals were reporting they were "already losing valuable staff".

The inquiry also heard evidence about the cost to the health budget of winding up Medicare Locals.

"The estimated costs reported by some CEOs of winding up their Medicare Locals range from around $800,000 up to $3 million," Mr Neumann said.



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