The Hon Catherine King MP
Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare
Member for Ballarat

Meryl Swanson MP
Member for Paterson

SHADOW HEALTH MINISTER VISITS PATERSON TO MEET DOCTORS, HEALTH PROVIDERS

Meryl Swanson MP, Federal Member for Paterson, has hosted the Shadow Health Minister, Catherine King MP, in Raymond Terrace today to discuss health services in the electorate, and to tour local health facilities.

Ms King and Ms Swanson toured the Raymond Terrace HealthOne clinic, meeting medical staff and inspecting the ‘superclinic’ facilities. They also met with Dr Simon Mylabathula, a cardiologist from East Maitland. This was followed by a meeting with Keith Drinkwater, CEO, and Katrina Delamothe, Mental Health Services Executive of Hunter Primary Care.

Ms King says, “It’s fantastic to be joining Meryl Swanson in Raymond Terrace to talk about health. I’ve been working with Meryl in Parliament to learn about the key issues in the Paterson electorate, and I’m keenly aware of the health needs of this area.

“Many local GPs in Paterson have been displaying signage outlining the impact of the Medicare freeze to their patients. Malcolm Turnbull is refusing to fully lift the freeze until 2020, and many local GPs and patients simply can’t afford the freeze to last any longer.

“Every day that the freeze continues is another day that locals are paying more for the health care they need. While any part of the Medicare freeze remains in place, while they continue to neglect our hospitals, they have zero credibility when it comes to caring about health”, Ms King concluded.

Ms Swanson says, “Catherine King is a warrior in the Parliament, who is constantly fighting for improvements in our health system and for Medicare to be maintained.

“There is an older population in the Nelson Bay area that is being serviced by a hospital without an X-Ray machine; there are huge wait lists for elective surgery at Maitland and Kurri Kurri hospitals.

“Due to state government cuts, communities like Lemon Tree Passage are waiting long periods for ambulances to arrive, to take them to the nearest hospital, at least 30 minutes away.

“These meetings will give Catherine a deep understanding of the needs of our area, and we will be able to work together in Canberra to achieve real outcomes for the people of Paterson

“Another issue that many local GPs have raised with me is the Medicare rebate freeze. This freeze is causing around XXX people in the Paterson electorate to delay seeing a doctor because of the cost, and around XXX to delay or avoid filling prescriptions due to the cost”, Ms Swanson concluded.