Mick fears for his town’s health

SMALL communities will lose out if the federal government axes Medicare Local services, a Henty public health campaigner has said.

Mick Broughan was stunned when he learned this week the community health scheme could be axed and feared what that would mean for towns like Henty.

He said small towns would be overlooked if centralised agencies took over the scheme.

“That’s a worry to me — I’ve never seen that bigger is more efficient,” he said.

“I’d be worried the cities with bigger representations will just get a bigger bite of the cherry.”

With a population of about 900, Mr Broughan said Henty had to fight hard for services.

He said Hume Medicare Local was a great asset to the town.

“I was sceptical at first, when they first came in, because you wonder what you’re going to get, but they’ve proved to be very good,” he said.

“They’ve been involved in securing three GPs here and we’ve found them to be very accessible — you can talk directly to someone and really get somewhere.”

Mr Broughan has been involved in several district health committees including the Henty hospital board.

He was most recently part of this year’s the “Looking after mates” men’s health forum in the town — Hume Medicare Local played a part in running it.

“They’ve always been very interested in what’s going on, what’s needed, in rural communities,” he said.

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