Media Release

18 October 2018

Kealy: Liberal Nationals to hand Bush Nursing Centres funding lifeline

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Liberal Nationals to hand Bush Nursing Centres funding lifeline

A Liberal Nationals Government will save Bush Nursing Centres at risk of closure under Daniel Andrews.

Bush Nursing Centres (BNCs) provide a critical health service to rural and remote Victorians, but recent changes by the Andrews Labor Government has left them financially unviable and forced to consider closing their doors.

Unlike city-centric Labor, an elected Liberal Nationals Government will make sure BNCs have a secure future.

We’ll provide $300,000 in emergency funding over two years to make sure nurses and support staff at Victoria’s 15 community-based, not-for-profit BNCs can continue to deliver essential primary health services.

Our commitment will save lives, meaning these services can continue to meet community demand for health care and offer adequate hours of treatment and emergency care.

This funding will give them certainty while we work out the best way to secure ongoing funding for BNCs in the future.

As the only health service in the rural and remote communities they’re based in, including Balmoral, Buchan, Dartmoor, Lockington and Walwa, BNCs offer services including allied health, respite care and emergency treatment.

But city-centric Labor’s abandoned BNCs, refusing to provide adequate recurrent funding despite its recent changes to the nurses EBA that’s pushed up costs and left Centres with no choice but to reduce services or cut back nursing hours.

Better health care for Regional Victoria is just one way a Liberal Nationals Government will decentralise our state into a state of cities – not just a city state.

Only a Liberal Nationals Government will give our Bush Nursing Centres certainty, providing every centre with an additional $10,000 each year over two years as we work out the best way to secure this service into the future.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Country Health Emma Kealy

We know Bush Nursing Centres are a critical health service in rural and remote communities – and we want to keep it that way.

City-centric Labor has refused to provide adequate recurrent funding to Bush Nursing Centres, threatening their ability to provide essential primary health services to rural people.

Good health care is one of the foundations of a community and should be a given – regardless of where you live.

By supporting Victoria’s BNCs an elected Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a better deal on health care in our rural and remote communities.