The Andrews Labor Government has refused to release a 105-page report into the future of Victoria’s 28 Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) because “the release is contrary to public interest.”
Funding and service agreements for PCPs were due to be cut by the Andrews Labor Government on 31 December 2019, however late last year PCPs received ‘stay of execution’ letters extending their service agreements until 30 June 2020 while the review was undertaken.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Liberal Nationals identified a 105-page document, but it was blocked by the Andrews Government for release.
PCPs and their 850 partners played an important community role working with state and local governments in service areas of mental health and community health.
In addition, PCPs provided much-needed research into depression, anxiety, psychological distress and higher premature mortality rates following the devastating 2009 bushfires.
Even former Health Minister Daniel Andrews said Primary Care Partnerships do “significant work to help people with chronic illnesses”.
Daniel Andrews claimed PCPs help Victorians avoid hospitalisation “particularly when people and the health agencies can work together on preventative actions and early intervention.”
The Freedom of Information request is now subject to a review inquiry by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:
“The arrogance of Andrews and Mikakos to first try and hide the cuts to PCPs and now stop public information is a desperate attempt to silence the Victorian community who use these health services and partners every single day.
“Minister Mikakos avoided answering questions on these health cuts in State Parliament, hiding behind a review being completed. Now that the review is complete, with findings she probably didn’t want, the Minister locks it up.
“If Andrews says he is all about jobs and the health of Victorians, then why is he still risking the hundreds of Victorian health jobs and cuts to this vital health service?”