Come clean on Medicare Locals Dutton told

During the election campaign, Mr Abbott pledged the coalition would not shut any Medicare Locals, only to later clarify the statement by saying he couldn't guarantee they would "stay exactly the same".

The coalition has promised to review the 61 Medicare Locals, which were set up by the former Labor government to coordinate local primary healthcare services in communities.

On Sunday Mr Dutton refused to re-affirm the commitment that no Medicare Locals would be closed, saying he did not want to pre-empt a review of the networks.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association said Mr Dutton had backed away from Mr Abbott's election promise and demanded he "come clean" on the government's plan.

"The ongoing uncertainty is leaving patients, families and health service staff in limbo," association chief Alison Verhoeven said in a statement yesterday. 

"The establishment of Medicare Locals has been an important step to