Health groups urge the Federal Government to scrap plans to cut $800 million in services.
Health groups urge the Federal Government to scrap plans to cut $800 million in services. File

Uncertainty as millions cut from health budget

DRUG and alcohol rehabilitation groups nationwide have urged the Abbott government to abandon plans to cut almost $800 million from some health services.

The 17 groups include the National Rural Health Alli-ance, indigenous health groups and frontline services working with drug patients.

A $596 million cut to Health Flexible Funds was revealed during Senate estimates.

The cut has not yet been allocated to specific programs. Last year $197 million was also cut. Public Health Association of Australia chief executive officer Melanie Walker said there was still no clarity on how the planned savings were to be achieved.

Current funding contracts are to expire at the end of 2015 or June next year.

She said the 14 funds to be affected were services in rural Australia, Closing the Gap programs and substance abuse services.



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