Bayside Medicare Local officially opens

Improving primary heathcare for residents in Kingston will be one of the key priorities for Bayside Medicare Local, which was officially launched yesterday by Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs.

Improving primary heathcare for residents in Kingston will be one of the key priorities for Bayside Medicare Local, which was officially launched yesterday by Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs.

Mr Dreyfus joined health professionals who share a passion and commitment to improving primary healthcare in our community.

Mr Dreyfus said that primary healthcare plays a fundamental role in ensuring the wellbeing of our community.

"Whether it is paying a visit to our local GP, nurses, mental health professionals or community and allied health specialists, primary care is a part of Australia's health system people use the most," Mr Dreyfus said.

Mr Dreyfus joined a panel of health and community representatives to answer some pointed questions from ABC Radio presenter, Jon Faine. The key priorities identified by panel members for the Bayside Medicare Local included improving after hour services to take the pressure off hospital emergency departments, identifying service gaps, educating the general public about preventative health measures and making the community aware of the services they can access through Medicare.

Key to the discussions was the importance of linking services to ensure a holistic approach to individual healthcare. Bayside Medicare Local will provide services to 625,000 people for a region which has a large and growing demographic of patients aged over 60.

Bayside Medicare Local will work within the municipalities of Kingston, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Glen Eira and Bayside, working in partnership with the Kingston Centre, Alfred Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, Caulfield Hospital, Calvary Health Care, Sandringham Hospital and more than 5000 primary care professionals.

Medicare Locals are a key element in the Government's commitment to improve primary health care for all Australians.

In August of last year, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that a National Health Reform Agreement had been reached with the state and territory governments which will improve the level of funding for, and provide long term sustainability of our health system.

As well as investing in Medicare Locals across Australia, the Federal Government is implementing a range of reforms, including an additional $19.8 billion investment in public hospital services over this decade, focusing on reducing emergency department and elective surgery waiting times and providing additional sub-acute beds.

"I look forward to seeing the benefits Bayside Medicare Local will provide to our local community."

For more information on Bayside Medicare Local visit http://www.yourhealth.gov.au/