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Thursday, 24 May 2012
Page: 5507


Mr BILLSON (Dunkley) (12:13): This is an important piece of legislation, shortly after the very tight vote that we just had on another important piece of legislation. This is the National Health Reform Amendment (Administrator and National Health Funding Body) Bill 2012. I am sure you will hear many erudite and informed speeches about the provisions of this bill. One of the things that is of particular concern to me in the Dunkley electorate is the pressure that is being imposed upon the health system, particularly as people are concerned about their private health insurance. You are seeing a transfer of demand out of the private system towards the public system, and I am very interested to hear how the government might believe these mechanisms will make it more responsive.

In Frankston hospital the revenue that comes from privately insured patients supplements the resources that are available, and resources are already stretched. The very dedicated doctors, nurses and teaching and professional staff of Frankston hospital—and we support the teaching effort and the development of health professionals—are under extra strain because of people's concern that private health is being put out of their reach due to the changes to the incentives. I am very keen to hear from the government about that. I might leave my contribution at that point.