Medicare Locals chief hits back at Dutton

The Federal Opposition’s pledge to pull the plug on Medicare Locals will leave patients languishing in the hospital system, the leader of the network warns.

The network of Medicare Locals — due to be in place by July — was attacked by Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton last week when he described it as an "unnecessary bureaucracy".

Pledging to "defund" the network, which has cost $477 million to set up over the past four years, Mr Dutton claimed Medicare Locals would divert funding from