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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5189

Dr SOUTHCOTT (Boothby) (12:35): Following on from the minister's remarks, I ask the minister: is the decision to consolidate the flexible funding and core funding for Medicare Locals a result of the national evaluation of Medicare Locals being conducted by the Department of Health and Ageing? Last year, on 27 November, in summing up the Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012, the Minister for Health and Ageing stated:

I am pleased to advise the House that a national evaluation of Medicare Locals, already planned to start early next year …

Can the minister advise where this national evaluation is currently up to? When will this evaluation be completed? When will this evaluation be publicly released? If it has been completed, why has it not been released? What aspects of the Medicare Locals program are being evaluated?

Also, the minister mentioned 3,000 front-line staff working in Medicare Locals. I ask the minister: what does she consider a staff member working on front-line services? How many hours do they have to be working in a clinical area for that to be counted as front-line services?