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Better medical services for local aged care residents.



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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au Web: www.davidhawker.com.au

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

23 March 2005

EMBARGOED UNTIL 23 MARCH 2005 - 2.00PM

BETTER MEDICAL SERVICES FOR LOCAL AGED CARE RESIDENTS

Western Victoria’s aged care homes will have better access to doctors under a new initiative launched today by Member for Wannon, David Hawker.

Mr Hawker said that the new Aged Care General Practitioner (GP) Panel initiative between the Otway Division of General Practice and local aged care homes would provide better health services for residents.

“As well as giving more access to GPs, the panels will work together with aged care homes on ways to improve the quality of health services,” Mr Hawker said.

“This local panel is part of a $4 billion package of measures to strengthen Medicare. It demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to put in place local programs to care for local people.”

The initiative will enable the Otway Division on General Practice Aged Care Panel to work together with aged care homes to determine the best model of care to meet the specific needs of residents and the community. They will also work together to develop quality care protocols and systems for both homes and staff.

“The Government has also introduced a new Medicare Benefits Schedule item of $150 to encourage doctors to visit aged care homes and assess residents’ health,” Mr Hawker said.

Mr Hawker also launched an Otway Division of General Practice publication that will assist GPs and Practice nurses in rolling out the new Medicare initiatives.

The Otway Division will distribute copies of the resource book to the 120 Divisions of General Practice across Australia in order to contribute to other Panels’ efforts in providing these services to aged care homes.

Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100