Member for Mayo welcomes $20 million in rehab funding for SA

The Minister for Health confirmed that regional South Australia would receive $20 million in funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services with the announcement of the opening of the grant applications.

Up to $2.5 million in Government funding is available for the Fleurieu region and will provide a much needed boost to rehabilitation services for regional communities across South Australia.  

The services are part of a $40 million package negotiated by Rebekha on behalf of Centre Alliance as part of the Government’s welfare reforms and announced in the 2018/2019 Federal Budget. In addition to the $20 million in rehabilitation services for South Australia, the package includes $20 million to support GPs and other allied health professionals in regional and remote Australia to access professional development and specialist skills in addiction medicine.

The Government has already announced the first tranche of training funding for GPs.

Rebekha welcomed the Minister’s announcement this morning saying  “We need to stop the cycle of addiction but we can’t do that without providing easy access to high quality rehabilitation services which can often be a challenge outside of metropolitan Adelaide”

“We know that drug and alcohol abuse is a real problem in rural and regional South Australia and these grants will mean that our communities will have the tools they so desperately need to combat the devastating consequences of drug and alcohol abuse”.

Rebekha said “This money will make a real difference to those families and communities who are grappling with addiction and I strongly encourage local drug and alcohol service providers to apply for the grants”.

Applications for the grant will close on 20 December 2018.

Further information on the eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.grants.gov.au/?event=public.GO.show&GOUUID=F772A3E3-C5C6-235B-924CF5CD99190E06

Foodbank backflip helps local charity

The Pantry Club, a Strathalbyn-based food assistance program for vulnerable residents, is one local charity thankful for the Federal Government’s recent decision to reverse the funding cut to Foodbank.

Photo: Country Life Compassion Community Liaison Officer Paquita Wise, left, shows Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie some of the offerings at The Pantry Club with the club’s co-ordinator, Matthew Boyle, and Chairperson Lew McMaster.

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$17M fruit fly package welcome news for SA

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Rebekha opens bulk-billing MRI in Mount Barker

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has today officially opened Mount Barker’s first Medicare licensed MRI service, located at Dr Jones & Partners.

Photo: Dr Steve Evans from Dr Jones & Partners and Rebekha Sharkie MP cut the ribbon to officially open the new Medicare licence for the MRI in Mount Barker.

The service is one of 30 extra MRI licences promised by the Government as part of a $175 million commitment and represents more than two years of advocacy by the local MP.

“Our community is growing rapidly and really needs this service so I congratulate Dr Jones & Partners for their work in putting in the application for Mount Barker,” Rebekha said.

“The Country SA Primary Health Network has the lowest number of full Medicare-eligible MRI units in Australia and I know about 2400 Mayo residents have opted to travel to Adelaide for 5000 procedures a year because the imaging is more affordable.

“This equates to about 20 patients a day from the Adelaide Hills heading down into the city because they couldn't afford the out of pocket cost of $300 or more.

“Many other residents were put off getting an MRI because they couldn't afford it or they found it too difficult to travel to a location where they could claim a rebate from Medicare.

“I am pleased to see that Dr Jones & Partners have also put in an application to the Government for an MRI licence for Victor Harbor, another rapidly growing area that is well overdue for a Medicare-rebatable licence.

“I know I have put in my letter of support for this application and I certainly hope to be invited to another official opening on the South Coast.”

Rebekha first raised the issue of MRI licences in Mayo in September 2016 with the then Health Minister Sussan Ley.

She renewed her pledge to fight for MRI licences in Mount Barker and Victor Harbor during the recent by-election.

After winning office, Rebekha obtained costings from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) which showed it would cost about $1.3 million a year to operate a Medicare-licensed MRI machine in Mount Barker, and the same for Victor Harbor.

The PBO estimates for Mount Barker and Victor Harbor are based on the cost of running MRI licences in similar regional areas.

Over the forward estimates, the annual cost for a licence will rise from $1.3 million in 2018/19 to $1.45 million in 2021/22, totalling $8.4 million over three years in the two locations.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Dr Jones & Partners, David Coorey, the Mount Barker MRI has been booked out since the licence came into effect this month.

The population of the Mount Barker region is expected to grow from today's figure of 35,000 to over 52,000 by 2036.

 

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Media enquiries
Genevieve Cooper
genevieve.cooper@aph.gov.au
0421 201 112