Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
Several regional Tasmanian communities are set to lose Allied Health services from July 1, as the Federal Liberal government continues to cut to its health budget. In Parliament today, Health Minister Ferguson wouldn't deny funding would be slashed.
Funding will be slashed by nearly two-thirds, from $3.9M to $1.4M, which will mean the collapse of essential services in many rural areas, such as the Tasman Peninsula, Dover and the East Coast.
The Minister for Health needs to stand up and fight for the renewal of this Commonwealth funding to the Tasman Peninsula, Dover and the East Coast, which are poorly serviced communities.
The services on the Tasman Peninsula include geriatrician and specialist Parkinson's disease and dementia care, as well as occupational therapy and dietician services. Many of these have taken years to develop by general practitioners and specialist geriatricians.
These are services that aren’t funded by the Department of Health, and the care they provide for complex and chronic conditions reduces many avoidable hospital admissions.
Community health in our rural areas is just as important as those in our urban centres. Minister Ferguson needs to lobby his Canberra colleagues for the reinstatement of allied health funding to our rural communities.