Nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals will soon be included in the delivery of primary care as Medicare faces the biggest overhaul in its 40-year history.

Labor is preparing to open up Medicare to a wider range of medical professionals in a bid to save universal health care.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Medicare system was struggling to keep up with demand.

“Too many people are turning up at emergency departments because they can’t get access to a GP and to primary health care,” he said on Monday.

Mr Albanese said a broken primary healthcare system would cost Australia much more in the long run.

“Someone going to a GP or someone getting that immediate assistance, if they don’t get it, what they end up getting is being in hospital, turning up at the emergency department and that costs much more,” he said.

For several months, the federal government has been working with medical associations and patient advocacy groups on ways to strengthen the Medicare system.

The report is expected to be published within weeks.

The Liberal Party is attempting to sketch out political battlelines over the issue of health funding.

It has taken aim at the cut to subsidised mental health care, waiting lists for surgery at public hospitals and declining bulk billing rates.

Liberal frontbencher Sussan Ley accused the prime minister of selling out vulnerable Australians.

“Anthony Albanese promised to leave no one behind but when it comes to healthcare that is exactly what he is doing,” she said.

Opposition health spokeswoman Anne Ruston also raised doubts about the scheduled delivery of urgent care clinics, which are being rolled out to ease pressure on local doctors.

“We still don’t know the exact locations of these clinics, bringing to question if they will even be delivered at all,” she said.

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