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Labor's medical letdown.

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The Hon Bob Baldwin MP Federal Member for Paterson

16 July 2008


Paterson MP Bob Baldwin has condemned the delay over Maitland getting a Medicare licence for an MRI machine as unforgivable.

Mr Baldwin said he was incensed to learn the Rudd Labor Government is still stalling on its election promise for Maitland to have its own MRI licence, instead shrouding the process in bureaucratic red tape.

“In a letter this week from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Jan McLucas, I was told that the Government has determined there is a need for an MRI unit in the Hunter Region.

“Well if that is not stating the obvious I don’t know what is - that need has been identified for years. First, Labor says before the election Maitland will have its own MRI license and then the location was watered down in February to “Maitland-Newcastle-Hunter”.

“Now, five months after that ridiculous announcement that Maitland was a separate part of the Hunter, I am told by Senator McLucas that new tender process will commence shortly.

“That’s simply not good enough - the licence for Maitland was promised, tenders should have been out for months. All the while, people are driving past an MRI in East Maitland daily to Newcastle to use one that gives a rebate from Medicare.

“If the Coalition had been re-elected, this licence would be in operation by now.

“Obviously the Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon is too busy with his Defence portfolio to properly represent the people of his electorate and deliver on his election promises.”

Media enquiries: Shelley Mexon - 0421 443 401

Bob Baldwin - 0419 694 620

Electorate: PO Box 156 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324, 35 Sturgeon Street Raymond Terrace. Phone (02) 4983 1330 Canberra: Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 4200