After-hours GP helpline to be scrapped

The Federal Government has hit back at claims it "sneakily" scrapped the after-hours GP helpline, saying funding will be redirected to a more efficient service.

Labor has accused ministers of abolishing the service in Tuesday's budget without warning or an up-front announcement, suggesting the move could put pressure on hospital emergency departments.

The $42 million helpline is used by over 200,000 people a year seeking advice on medication and minor health issues.

It was apparently paying some doctors $1600 a shift to work from home.

Fedderal Health Minister Sussan Ley has confirmed it will be scrapped from July but says money will be reinvested in a new after hours Practice Incentives Program for GP practices.

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