The Andrews Labor Government has taken the scalpel to the Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership (PCP) as Labor’s health funding cuts continue to be exposed.
The organisation, which operates across Mitchell and Murrindindi shires, focuses on preventative healthcare, Aboriginal health, family violence and care of people with chronic diseases.
Concern is mounting about the future of the partnerships, including Lower Hume, after Labor Health Minister Jenny Mikakos were not her priority.
Yesterday the chair of the statewide network of PCPs Kevin Feeney called on the Andrews Labor Government “to commit to continuing Primary Care Partnerships’ modest funding for the benefit of all Victorians”.
Euroa MP and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the Andrews Government had let the community down by failing to fund the important work delivered by Lower Hume PCP.
Ms Ryan said when questioned in Parliament this week, Labor’s Health Minister confirmed that funding for all of Victoria’s 28 Primary Care Partnerships has been abolished, including that of Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership, leaving many ongoing community programs at a standstill.
“If the partnership is not funded, not only will we will lose programs that are already in place, but work will also be work is less strategic and coordinated,” Ms Ryan said.
“This year the PCP managed a community support program to respond to mental health needs in the lead up to the 10 year anniversary of Black Saturday. The program offered support to more than 2000 people, ran three training sessions on mental health first aid and referred 18 people to mental health services.
“In addition to community programs like this being axed, I am worried about what will happen to the local jobs of those who provide these vital services.
“Health prevention is often the first step to tackling some of Victoria’s serious health challenges, yet Daniel Andrews has decided to cut funding to this crucial area of need.
“These partnerships have played an important role in Victoria’s health network for two decades, yet these latest cuts are another example of Daniel Andrews’ inability to manage money.
“These vital services, provided by Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership, are important to the communities of Mitchell and Murrindindi and we need to make it clear we won’t stand for these cuts.
“If you currently use any of these services and are concerned about these funding cuts from Labor, I want to hear from you. Call or email my office on 5762 1600 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”