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Greens welcome Medicare review

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today welcomed the government’s announced reviews of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and primary health care.

“The Greens have been calling for a review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and an exploration of alternative models in primary care for some time, so we welcome the government’s announcement today.

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Abbott holding our health to ransom

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today responded to the Australian Medical Association’s damning public hospital report card.

“The Abbott government is holding the country’s health to ransom in a transparent effort to force the states into begging for the GST to rise,” said Senator Di Natale.

“When governments play politics with health funding it’s the Australian public that pay the price. And today’s report card from the AMA shows the real world consequences of treating health care as a bargaining chip.

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Greens propose a way forward on health reform

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today proposed a new way forward in health reform that doesn’t target patients.

“The Greens will stand firmly against any health reforms that reduce access or fairness, but there is another way forward,” said Senator Di Natale.

“We have an excellent health system in Australia and while there is no evidence that spending is spiralling out of control, the Greens always believe in preparing for long term challenges and following evidence-based policy.

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Two bad ideas scrapped, one to go

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, welcomed reports that the government is planning to scrap its planned $5 Medicare rebate cut but said the fight to protect Medicare isn’t over.

“We will all celebrate if the $5 cut to Medicare rebates is finally sent to the graveyard of dumb policy ideas but nobody should forget that the worst aspect of the government’s Medicare changes remains in place,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Nothing “local” about Abbott’s Primary Healthcare Networks

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Abbott Government’s plan to replace 61 Medicare Locals with 30 Primary Healthcare Networks was a backward step.

“The value of Medicare locals is that they helped to coordinate health services in a unique way so that they cater for local needs,” said Senator Di Natale, Deputy Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Health.

“Replacing 61 Medicare Locals with 30 larger Primary Healthcare Networks undermines the capacity for local coordination.

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Abbott health policies will cause a world of pain hears Senate Committee

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Senate Select Committee on Health has heard damning evidence about the impacts of the Abbott Government’s health policies.

“The combination of the Abbott Government’s health policies would be nothing short of disastrous for our health system and the community,” said Senator Di Natale, Deputy Chair of the Committee.

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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;

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No model could turn GP co-payments into good public policy

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that there are no possible changes or alternative models can turn the GP co-payment into good public policy.

“No amount of tinkering or adjustments can save this dog of a policy,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Putting a price barrier between patients and their doctors is precisely the opposite of what we should be doing.

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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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