Funding concerns by health services

CONCERNS over Federal Government funding for country health services are being felt by the Coffs Coast general practitioners' organisation.

Dr Helena Johnston, the medical director of the Mid North Coast Division of General Practice, said the Federal Government had decided to give the division only six months funding, taking them to the end of December, rather than the traditional 12 months.

“Twelve months ago they said they were looking at a three-year funding model for all divisions” Dr Johnston said.

“It makes you wonder what they are intending to go with.”

She said short-term funding made it difficult to keep people, which was important for the programs run by the division and funded by the Federal Government.

“We keep hearing that 'everything will be better in July' and we are certainly asking lots of questions but not getting any information,” she said.

Most of the division's work is Federally funded, including mental and adolescent health, aged care, allied health, psychology, diabetes education and collaborative care and cardiovascular care as well as other GP support and care quality programs.

The MNCDGP employs two diabetes educators who work in the area between Macksville and Grafton.

The division's office and administrative costs are also Federally funded.

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