By ROXANNE MILLAR
WHETHER it is John Howard or Mark Latham who takes over the Lodge later this year, the Tweed is set to get its own after-hours GP clinic.
Election promises made yesterday by both sides of the political persuasion gave the Tweed Hospital hope to cope with a strain on its emergency department.
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott pledged $200,000 funding to start up an after-hours clinic on the Tweed, but not at the Tweed Hospital.
He claimed the NSW Government would not accept the Coalition's offer to establish the clinic on site.
"We don't want to be held hostage to NSW State Labor politics," he said.
"The offer we made to NSW was in the same terms of that made in Western Australia and that was accepted by the West Australian State Government."
He said an offer to co-locate it was still on the table.
Labor candidate Justine Elliot said a Federal Labor Government was committed to providing a co-located clinic at The Tweed Hospital.
"Co-located means ensuring the safety and security of patients going there .?.?. and staff," she said.
"It is so important with the plummeting rates of bulk billing."
She urged Larry Anthony and Tony Abbott to sign a pledge to open an after-hours clinic in the Tweed.
"There needs to be no more buck-passing, its time for Larry Anthony and Tony Abbott to make a commitment," she said.
Abbott said he would sign if she would support the Medicare safety net.