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Sun. May 26th, 2024

Local MP Janelle Saffin is one of the members of a new Select Committee that has been appointed to examine the implementation of the recommendations of the Upper House Inquiry into Rural and Regional Health.

A Select Committee is a special committee set up by the parliament to investigate a particular issue. NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said this committee will oversee the implementation of the 44 recommendations of the Upper House Inquiry.

The 44 recommendations include a review of funding models, improving public transport so people can get to medical appointments, a number of reforms to better support and fund GPs, establishment of a palliative care taskforce, and a number of further inquiries into issues like mental health and obstetric care.

The recommendations also call for an expedited roll-out of the Single Employer Model for GP trainees. This system has been the subject of much debate with the New England making it clear that they want it. Health Minister Mark Butler has confirmed to the New England Times that he would soon be writing to his NSW counterpart with respect to the proposal to implement the model here in the New England, and that once the approach was agreed the NSW Government would set the timing for it to start.

“Every person in NSW, no matter where they live, has the right to safe, quality medical care,” Mr Park said.

“I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of rural and regional health services since the Government was elected, and I’ll be visiting several remote health services in north west NSW next week.

“The Rural and Regional Health Inquiry, which I fought so hard to establish in opposition, highlighted the crisis facing rural, remote and regional services such as these, and this Select Committee will ensure they get the support they need to care for their local communities.”

Chair of the Select Committee, Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr, said healthcare was the number one issue for rural and regional communities in NSW.

“Rural and regional healthcare is in crisis,” Dr McGirr said.

“It is unacceptable that the life expectancy of those in the regions is less than those in metropolitan areas.”

The committee will be able to examine the financial expenditure and performance of relevant government agencies and inspect healthcare settings in NSW and other relevant jurisdictions.

It will consist of the Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin, Member for Cessnock Clayton Barr, Member for South Coast Liza Butler, Member for Monaro Steve Whan, Member for Myall Lakes Tanya Thompson, and the Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams.

The committee will deliver its final report to the NSW Parliament within two years of its first meeting.

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