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The PHN and Hunter Primary Care to restore GP Access After Hours services

The Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network is pleased to announce a contract has been signed with Hunter Primary Care to continue to deliver the GP Access After Hours service in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland for a further two years.

This two-year contract is significant for the service, as historically contracts have only been renewed on an annual basis. Most importantly, both organisations have agreed that the funding provided is sufficient to re-open the GP Access clinic at the Calvary Mater Hospital. Hunter Primary Care made the difficult decision to close the clinic in December 2021 due to funding shortfalls, notwithstanding the public outcry from local MPs and the community to prevent the closure.

The PHN’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis said this funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to primary care. “In an environment where difficulties accessing primary health care is contributing to over extended emergency departments, the funding could not have come at a better time.”

“Everyone deserves equitable access to health care. The re-opening of the GP Access clinic at the Calvary Mater as well as the restoration of the other GP Access services is a huge win for the people of Newcastle and the Hunter region. We thank the Department of Health and Aged Care for recognising the importance of this service.”

Hunter Primary Care’s Chief Operating Officer, Keith Drinkwater said “This is a major win for the community, and we are so grateful to be guaranteed the necessary funding to continue providing this vital service.”

“Hunter Primary Care deeply appreciates the contribution of Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon MP, who lobbied long and hard on behalf of the local community to re-establish the GP Access services” said Keith. “We are also very grateful to MPs Pat Conroy, Meryl Swanson and Dan Repacholi for their support.”

The team at Hunter Primary Care have now commenced the task of working to re-establish the workforce of GPs, RNs and administration support staff required to re-open the Calvary Mater Hospital clinic and restore operating hours across the service by the end of May 2023.

Media enquiries to Rebecca Brennan: 0437 478 138.

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