There were pre-election promises to bolster healthcare access in Macarthur and in its budget delivered on Tuesday, the Albanese Labor government has followed through.
“It is with absolute pleasure that I can announce that the long-fought for Child Development Unit for Macarthur was announced in the Budget,” said Federal Member for Macarthur Dr Mike Freelander.
“This will ensure Macarthur families get vital medical care close to home which will provide critical assessments to support the early stages of their child’s development.”
Dr Freelander has long fought for a CDU for our region, as currently it is not uncommon for a family to wait upwards of twelve months to secure medical appointments for their children, and this can have devastating consequences.
“By having a Child Development Unit established here in Macarthur, local families no longer need to travel long, expensive distances for developmental assessments; instead, they can access these critical assessments for their children much closer to home,” Dr Freelander said.
Further, Dr Freelander and the Albanese Government also announced $520,000 for Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation in Airds to improve their health facilities.
“I have worked with Tharawal for quite some time now. They provide invaluable local, healthcare services for Indigenous men, women, and children,” he said.
“It is imperative that Indigenous healthcare services receives the support they require to provide critical, important care for our First Nations peoples.”
Visiting Tharawal in April with Dr Freelander, Linda Burney, then Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians, had said, “First Nations people face some of the highest levels of disadvantage and the poorest health outcomes in Australia. Labor’s investment is an important step in closing the gap.”
The Macarthur community is currently home to over 5,800 Indigenous people, and the total population of the region is estimated to grow to 600,000 by 2036. The government’s investment will mean TACAMS can meet the medical needs of their growing community.
Furthering the Government’s commitment to strengthen our healthcare sector and ensure all Australians can access healthcare, the Budget includes funding to establish 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to reduce pressure on our hospitals.
Dr Freelander says that other initiatives to assist Australians with the cost of living include slashing the PBS maximum general co-payment from $42.50 down to $30 per script to provide cheaper medicines, extending Paid parental leave to 6 months by 2026 and rolling out our Cheaper Child Care policy which will benefit over 9,200 families in Macarthur.