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- Start of Business
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Abbott, Tony, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Leigh, Andrew, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Moylan, Judi, MP, Bowen, Chris, MP)
(Owens, Julie, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Bishop, Julie, MP, Rudd, Kevin, MP)
(Perrett, Graham, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Kelly, Craig, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Murphy, John, MP, Combet, Greg, MP)
National Education Standards
(Pyne, Chris, MP, Garrett, Peter, MP)
Australian Securities Exchange
(Symon, Mike, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Turnbull, Malcolm, MP, Albanese, Anthony, MP)
(Hall, Jill, MP, Roxon, Nicola, MP)
(Hartsuyker, Luke, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Mitchell, Rob, MP, Crean, Simon, MP)
(Windsor, Antony, MP, Burke, Tony, MP)
Australia-United States Relationship
(Brodtmann, Gai, MP, Rudd, Kevin, MP)
(Tudge, Alan, MP, Albanese, Anthony, MP)
(Melham, Daryl, MP, Smith, Stephen, MP)
(Pyne, Chris, MP, Burke, Tony, MP)
Research and Innovation
(Georganas, Steve, MP, Garrett, Peter, MP)
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
SUPERANNUATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010
INTERNATIONAL TAX AGREEMENTS AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2) 2010
PROTECTION OF THE SEA LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- NATIONAL MEASUREMENT AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- SERVICE AND EXECUTION OF PROCESS AMENDMENT (INTERSTATE FINE ENFORCEMENT) BILL 2010
- WATER EFFICIENCY LABELLING AND STANDARDS AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- CORPORATIONS AMENDMENT (NO. 1) BILL 2010
- DEFENCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (SECURITY OF DEFENCE PREMISES) BILL 2010
- FISHERIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2) 2010
- GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S SPEECH
- NATIONAL HEALTH AND HOSPITALS NETWORK BILL 2010
SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH JOBS) BILL 2010
THERAPEUTIC GOODS AMENDMENT (2010 MEASURES NO. 1) BILL 2010
VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WEEKLY PAYMENTS) BILL 2010
- Mitchell Electorate: Road Funding
Holt Electorate: Eumemmerring and Chalcot Lodge Primary Schools
RoboCup Junior Australia
- Mr Carlo Salteri
- Welfare Reforms
- Wright Electorate: Coal Seam Gas
- Cunningham Electorate: Broadband
- Murray-Darling Basin
- Kingston Electorate: Roads
- Brisbane Electorate: Achievement Awards
- Robertson Electorate: Arts Community
- Franchise Sector
- McEwen Electorate: Lancefield
- Start of Business
- Brisbane Electorate: Home Insulation Program
- Fraser Electorate: West Belconnen Health Cooperative
- Murray Electorate: Mome Insulation Program
- Canberra Electorate: St Mary of the Cross
- Casey Electorate: Active After-school Communities Program
- Hindmarsh Electorate: Employment Conditions
- Cowan Electorate: St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School
- Lingiari Electorate: Uluru-Kata Juta
- Higgins Electorate: Education
- Deakin Electorate: Local Sporting Champions Grants
- AUTONOMOUS SANCTIONS BILL 2010
- Danby, Michael, MP
- Briggs, Jamie, MP
- Gibbons, Steve, MP
- Morrison, Scott, MP
- Perrett, Graham, MP
- Macfarlane, Ian, MP
- Leigh, Andrew, MP
- Neumann, Shayne, MP
- Fletcher, Paul, MP
- Burke, Anna, MP
- Bishop, Bronwyn, MP
- Owens, Julie, MP
- Washer, Dr Mal, MP
- Hayes, Chris, MP
- Prentice, Jane, MP
- Thomson, Kelvin, MP
- Baldwin, Robert, MP
- Saffin, Janelle, MP
- Schultz, Alby, MP
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Mr CHEESEMAN (7:12 PM) —I congratulate the member for Longman for a terrific first speech. It was certainly a speech that I listened to very closely, and a lot of things he had to say are also things that I very much personally believe in.
Mr Deputy Speaker Georganas, I think this is the first time I have had the opportunity to formally congratulate you on being returned to your seat, and of course to offer congratulations to you on becoming a deputy speaker. Today I rise to speak on the National Health and Hospitals Network Bill 2010. It is with great pride and pleasure that I do so. I would certainly like to commend the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health and Ageing for introducing these very significant bills to this parliament. I look forward to the hopefully safe passage of this legislation through both chambers so that we can get on with the business of delivering Labor’s comprehensive plan to reform our national health and hospital system. This bill is about the implementation of the National Health and Hospitals Network, by establishing the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. I will refer to this body as ‘the commission’ through the course of this contribution.
The commission will create better health and better hospitals for all Australians, and certainly we on this side of the chamber, the Gillard government, very much believe in that. The commission will be important in improving the safety and quality of health care into the future. The commission will be one of three governing agencies that will oversee our health and hospital reform, and I look forward to contributing further on that in future. The other two will be the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and the National Performance Authority, two instruments of government that will be very important for our healthcare system.
These will be the most significant health reforms since the introduction of Medicare a couple of decades ago by the former Hawke-Keating Labor government. These reforms are important because they are the most substantial reforms we have seen in this place for many years. This government will be creating the National Health and Hospitals Network that is funded nationally and will be, very importantly, run locally, enabling local clinicians and communities to oversee the running of our health and hospital system.
These reforms have been through consultation. In fact, there have been hundreds of meetings held across the nation in consulting with communities in developing this model. That is something I believe in strongly, the need for consultation. Indeed, consultation took place in my community and my clinicians, my doctors and my hospitals were able to feed in directly to government to ensure that we got these mechanisms correct.
This bill will help change the way in which health services are delivered, with patients having better access to services. I know that most people in this chamber, certainly those on this side, believe in delivering quality health care for all of our communities. This bill will also help with preventive health and health care outside our hospitals. It will also be significant in helping regional electorates like my electorate of Corangamite. As you no doubt know, Mr Deputy Speaker, many regional people find it generally difficult to be able to access medical help when they need it because of the tyranny of distance and the challenges of getting clinicians, doctors and nurses employed in our regions. I believe this will help in that regard. That is one of the reasons why I am so supportive of the bill, because it is in the regions where I believe the most significant reform will take place as we deploy the National Health and Hospitals Network through the course of the next few years. This will make the federal government the majority funder of Australia’s public hospital services. We have had report after report that show that our health system had been on an unsustainable downward curve for quite some time and it is only the financial clout of the Commonwealth that can bring sustainability back to our health and hospital system.
The Commonwealth government will provide $35.2 million over the next four years to jointly fund, with the states and territories, the commission. This Labor government is implementing major reforms to funding the Australian healthcare system. This funding will help our healthcare system to have a sustainable future. That is very important. If you have a look at any of the significant work that has been undertaken by any of the reputable health economists, you can see that expenses are growing, and we know that the contribution that needs to be made by the public purse will need to grow to ensure that Australians get access to sustainable world-class health care. That is a part of the need for the significant investment that we will be making to the national health and hospital system. Things like sustainability and quality, the capacity of our health system and better connecting care for people right across the country, particularly in electorates like Corangamite, are significant parts of the important work that we need to undertake.
Today I would like to touch on a few things that we are doing in my electorate to benefit my community in the broader Geelong area. I particularly want to touch on the importance of preventive health and better access to services. These two areas of health will greatly help some of the most vulnerable people in my electorate but also right across Australia. This government will provide better access to services across the country in health. The National Health and Hospitals Network will deliver to local communities in my electorate better access to health services.
The Gillard government will also continue to establish the national after-hours GP and primary care services, which are critically important for providing people with the opportunity to access information when they need it. People in my electorate speak to me regularly about the difficulty they often have in accessing GPs and nurses. Again the Gillard government is investing substantially to help address these challenges. Through this bill and the National Health and Hospitals Network, the government will invest $355 million to create more GP superclinics and to expand GP clinics as well. This will take place in about 450 locations around the country.
I am a fortunate MP who does actually have a GP superclinic within my electorate, in the suburb of Belmont; it opened just a few months ago. It provides health care to the communities in Grovedale, Belmont, Highton and Waurn Ponds. It is pleasing to see that people are voting with their feet, because the car park is regularly filled with people accessing services from there. Most pleasing about that particular superclinic is that we are working in partnership with Deakin University. In fact they are training many of their graduates at this superclinic, providing opportunities for medical students to gain practical first-hand medical experience under the supervision of qualified doctors. I certainly look forward to seeing the graduates from the Deakin University medical school gaining that practical experience at that location and then gaining employment in many parts of regional Victoria where there are GP shortages. I look forward to seeing that over the years to come.
The National Health and Hospitals Network will also strengthen guarantees and targets to improve access to public hospital services. The government needs to do this after the previous decade in which more than $1 billion was ripped out of our health and hospital system creating bottlenecks, skills shortages and a blow-out in access for many people to high-quality medical services that can only be provided by hospitals, when people most need them.
This government will also invest $750 million in emergency departments across the nation. This will guarantee that patients will be either treated or admitted within a reasonable time. That is something I look forward to. The government will also overhaul the health system to ensure that there is a better deal for those on elective surgery waiting lists. As a member of parliament I realise, as I am sure most members do, that often we are dealing with patients that do find it difficult to access elective surgery, particularly if they are in pain. My staff and I spend a significant amount of time working with constituents in addressing those issues.
The reality is that we need more money to address this issue. The $800 million for elective surgery will result in some 95 per cent of elective surgeries being delivered within the clinically recommended time frame. That is certainly a dramatic improvement from the circumstances that we found ourselves in when we went into government in 2007. This is a major difference between the Gillard government and those on the other side, who sat by for years and watched our health and hospital system groan under the strains that had been created as a consequence of a lot of resources being ripped out of the health and hospital system.
We believe in putting money into health to provide better access to services for regional people of this country. My electorate is a significant one in which people do find it difficult to access a modern health and hospital system because of the tyranny of distance.
In the short amount of time that I have left there are a couple of major points that I wish to touch on. Geelong and the surrounding towns have a population near 200,000. The current Geelong hospital is getting to the point at which it cannot develop and grow any longer on its existing site. The state government is working through the planning processes to establish a second Geelong hospital, which will be called the Southern Geelong Hospital. It will be located within my electorate and I certainly look forward to working with the state government in the years to come to secure funding for that project under the health and hospital reform process. I have been campaigning hard on this issue for some time now.
I also wish to very briefly mention that Deakin University, which has a new medical school, will be partnering with the Epworth health network to build a new private hospital for the Geelong community. It will be located on Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds site. Again, this is a much needed investment providing choice for the Geelong community. I look forward to working with Deakin University and the Epworth health group to see that investment within our community.
There is no doubt that a public health system working in partnership with a private health provider can very much deliver sustained improvements for our communities across the nation. I commend the bill to the House. (Time expired)