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Rebate freeze is a ‘python squeeze’

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said that the government’s objective is still to make patients pay more to see a doctor.

“Rumours of the co-payment’s death are greatly exaggerated,” said Senator Di Natale.

“While the Greens welcome the back down on the $5 rebate cut, freezing rebates is a prescription for a co-payment by stealth.

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Making a bad problem worse

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today slammed the Abbott Government’s cynical attack on Medicare.

“If you wanted to destroy the fabric of Medicare there are two ways you could go about it,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP.

“The first way is to change the law around Medicare and the second way is just to stop paying for it.

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ED waiting times to triple in SA if Abbott Government health cuts aren't blocked

Penny Wright 9 Oct 2014

Waiting times at South Australian emergency departments will triple if the Abbott Government's $7 GP co-payment is introduced, the SA Health department told a Senate inquiry today.

The Senate Select Committee on Health also heard the South Australian Government was considering a further administration fee of up to $30 dollars to cover the cost of collecting the co-payment in emergency departments.

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Medical Internship Guarantee

Senator DI NATALE (Victoria) (12:18):  I move:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern over the audit of the National Medical Intern Data Management Working Group's findings that approximately 240 Australian medical graduates will not be offered a state or territory internship position;

(b) notes that completing a medical internship is an essential process for a graduate to work as a doctor in Australia;

(c) recognises that:

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Stop the Medicare Sell-Off

Senator DI NATALE:  I, and also on behalf of Senator Lazarus, move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the proposed sale of the $29 billion Medicare payment system, which will put thousands of jobs at risk and compromise service;

(b) notes That the sale will open the door for further privatisations within the Department of Human Services and other federal government agencies, including the Australian Taxation Office; and

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Horrific MH17 tragedy has global ramifications for HIV AIDS

The Australian Greens say the MH17 disaster is a horrific tragedy that will reverberate around the world.

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all those who have been killed, especially the 27 Australians reported to be on board," said Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.

"Tragedies like these always touch many more people than we can ever know, but it is shocking news that up to 108 delegates to the 20th Annual AIDS Conference due to be held in Melbourne this weekend were on board the doomed flight.

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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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