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Multi-party group puts medicinal cannabis on the agenda

The recently re-established Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform believes that the time has come for Australia push beyond the stigma which bans medicinal cannabis.

The cross party group, co-convened by federal Coalition, Labor and Greens parliamentarians has today advanced the discussion on medicinal cannabis by hosting an event on the issue at Parliament House, which was attended by representatives of all major parties. 

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COAG health report exposes Hockey’s clueless budget

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, today said that the COAG Reform Council’s report into healthcare reform demonstrates precisely why the Abbott Government’s budget is a bad prescription.

“Rather than addressing the health challenges facing Australia, Joe Hockey’s budget will just make them worse,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP and public health professional.

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Community campaign against cuts to higher education exposes Coalition's deception

Lee Rhiannon 23 May 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Rhiannon has commended the sustained community campaign to expose Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne's higher education deception.

"Mr Pyne and Mr Abbott are regularly contradicting themselves in radio interviews. We now know that Mr Abbott won't rule out that university fees will double while Mr Pyne can't decide if fees are going to go up or down," said Senator Rhiannon.

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Tony Abbott takes a big bite out of dental funding

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that the Abbott Government’s heartless budget is extracting $619 million of hard-won funding for dental health.

“The Abbott Government isn’t just making it harder for someone to see their GP, it’s also making it harder for people to see their dentist,” said Senator Di Natale, who negotiated the National Dental Health Reform Package with the previous government.

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Government must rule out obesity fee thought bubble: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson and chair of the inquiry into the Commission of Audit, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that allowing Private Health Insurers to charge more depending on someone’s weight and other “lifestyle factors” would be a big mistake.

“Charging people more for health insurance based on risk factors like weight is a prescription for a health system that is more expensive and less fair,” said Senator Di Natale, a doctor and former public health professional.

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Time for a national drugs summit: Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform

The recently re-established Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform said that yesterday’s bleak Australian Crime Commission report into illicit drug seizures highlights the need for a national summit on drugs policy.

The cross party group, co-convened by federal Coalition, Labor and Greens parliamentarians has today written to the Prime Minister, Health Minister and Attorney General as well as their opposition counterparts to argue for a national drugs summit to be held in Canberra this year.

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Syme case shows need for euthanasia reform

"Revelations that Melbourne urologist and dying with dignity campaigner Rodney Syme assisted in the suicide of terminally ill man Steve Guest are timely and important," said Greens Health Spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale today.

"A doctor’s prime concern should be the wellbeing of their patient, right to the very end. When fear of legal repercussions is forcing doctors to say to a suffering patient, ‘sorry, I cannot help you’ there is something wrong with the system. Rodney Symes knew this and so he helped his patient anyway despite the risks to himself.

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Co-payments beginning of end of Medicare: Bandt

Adam Bandt 22 Apr 2014

Greens Acting Leader Adam Bandt says the Greens will fight any government move to Medicare co-payments.

"If these reports of Tony Abbott's intentions are true, it is the beginning of the end of Medicare as we know it," Mr Bandt said today.

"Tony Abbott is leading us down the road to a US-style health system, where the quality of healthcare you get depends on your bank balance."

"Your Medicare card should be enough to see a GP - you shouldn't need a credit card as well."

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