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PM: Well it's great to be back in this great community around Ryde, and good to be here with Maxine
McKew, and with our local representatives of the medical community from Ryde Hospital, and also
from Royal North Shore. And thank you, Jason, for showing us around this morning. This is an
important part of the hospital network of New South Wales, an important part therefore, of the
hospital network of Australia.

What the Australian Government is committed to is building a new National Health and Hospitals
Network, funded nationally, run locally. Because what we need is more hospital beds, more doctors,
more nurses. And I've seen a lot of evidence of that today, here at this important hospital. Of
course, a core part of that is to make sure that our medical workforce is properly planned, and
that we have enough training places for that workforce as well. And that's why we want to see an
additional number of training places across the country.

Therefore, what we'll be doing is providing up to $13.6 million to support additional clinical
training places for university students in a range of services from metropolitan rehab services, to
rural and remote health services. These will provide some 1744 additional clinical training
placements, in Broken Hill and Newcastle and Shoalhaven, in Ryde, where we are here, and in Western

This of course is on top of what we are doing in terms of the investment in additional GP training
places and medical training places with some more than 6000 of those to be funded for the upcoming
decade. And those are additional places. What does it mean for this community at Ryde? An
additional 36 training places across the various disciplines, from medicine, to nursing, through to
the allied health professionals. I met many of those allied health professional representatives
here today.

This is an important step in terms of local health workforce needs. Unless we get the health
workforce right for the future, with enough doctors, enough nurses, enough allied health
professionals, we won't actually fix the fundamentals of the system for the long term. Of course,
the other thing we need to do is to make sure we've got a National Health and Hospital Network,
which is properly reformed. No more cost-shift, blame-shift, no more waste, duplication and overlap
between the Australian Government and State Governments, but also investing in the future growth
needs of the system as well. And that's why this is such an important building block for long-term
delivery of health and hospital services for all Australians.

I've been really impressed by the health professionals I've met here at the hospital this morning.
A large medical faculty here, nursing staff, I was told of about 260. The allied health
professionals are large in number. I see those who are working with diabetes over here, those who
are also working with general physiotherapy services for some aged Australians. But also, a great
team of people.

What I see right across Australia is a dedicated team of professionals doing their absolute best
within the constraints they've currently got. What we want to do as an Australian Government is
enable them to do more in the future. Better planning for their workforce. More hospital beds, more
doctors, more nurses. That's what the National Health and Hospitals Network is all about. Having
said that, unless you want to add Maxine- I might just take some questions.

KG: Prime Minister, you've said (inaudible) you've campaigned on (inaudible) federalism. When you
spoke to the staff here you said there's going to be a massive fight on Monday. What went wrong in
all of this?

PM: Well, can I say that there was always going to be a disagreement between various people in
various parts of Australia, representing their own interests. And can I also point to the fact that
in the last two years, we have had many meetings with the Council of Australian Governments, and
achieved widespread agreement on reforms to our education system, the existing Australian
Healthcare Agreement- which increases the Australian Government's investment in the public hospital
system by some 50 per cent - and on top of that also, the reforms that we've had in closing the gap
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

All that has been agreed. But you know, sometimes disagreements arise. And you've just got to deal
with them. And so far, we of course, we have Premier Brumby expressing a different view. Well,
that's his right, but the Australian Government's determined to get on with the business of health
and hospital reform.

JOURNALIST: What do you think about the idea of pool funding? The states seem to have their hearts
set on it. What's wrong with that idea?

PM: Can I say that what the Australian Government wants to deliver is better health and better
hospital services for all Australians, and we will not accept a recipe for inaction by either
Premier Brumby, or for that matter Mr Abbott. If we don't reach an agreement on Monday that
achieves better health and better hospitals for all Australians - as I have said consistently, then
the Australian people will have their say. Our position is very clear. It's outlined in the
national health and hospitals reform document I released six weeks ago at the National Press Club.
That explains why we have gone for the model that we've put forward.

Two or three days ago I released volume two of that, which puts together all the growth we plan for
the system. That's the Australian Government's position -

JOURNALIST: So pool funding- not on the table?

PM: That's the Australian Government's position, and I would welcome the states and territories to
continue to engage constructively on that, because I think people across Australia have had an
absolute gutful of squabbles about the future of the health system. They just want our political
leaders to get on with the business of reform; fix up the waste and fund the future, so that these
good health professionals can get on with their job.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd, would you accept an in-principle agreement with the premiers on Monday, with
the details to be ironed out on a later date?

PM: I think the Australian people are fed up with waiting for reform for the health and hospital
system. We are proposing a formal intergovernmental agreement with the states and territories on
the future of the health and hospital system. That is the Australian Government's position. And the
Australian Government's position on that will not change. You see, Mr Brumby and Mr Abbott seem to
have a whole list of excuses for delay, and accepting the current system as it is. I believe the
Australian people want us to get on with it.

JORUNALIST: It's clearly- you're not the best of friends with John Brumby. Is there a personality
clash in the middle of all this as well?

PM: Mr Brumby will always argue the interests, as he sees them, of his Government. We've been very
clear about what we see the national interest as being, and what we believe to be a better funding
deal for the good people of Victoria as well, for better hospital services, more hospital beds, and
can I say, also, for more doctors and more nurses in Victoria as well. This is about the national
interest, but it's also about making sure that hospitals across the country have the resources they
need to do the job.

In a nutshell, it seems to boil down to Mr Brumby and Mr Abbott saying the current system is good
enough. We're saying the current system needs to be fundamentally changed, and the Australian
Government needs to fund the future growth of the system. That's, in a nutshell, what we're on

JOURNALIST: Are you worried that you're setting a precedent, that you'll do the same thing on the
GST with roads, with education? Can you give them a guarantee you won't-

PM: Can I say that we've been very clear-cut about what we are proposing on health and hospitals
from prior to the last election, which is there would be no blank cheque, no sort of free ride as
far as this is concerned, that it would result in adjustment of the financial relationship between
the Commonwealth and the states. We've been plain about that from the very beginning.

Let us not suggest that there is anything new in that. And as far as that's concerned, our plans
are absolutely clear cut on health and hospitals. We've been clear about it. The documents are out
there. And I'll leave it for the others to comment on it, to criticise it, to be negative about it.
We want to get on with the business of negotiating an outcome for working Australians. I think we
need to be very mindful of what I'd describe as just one fear campaign after another about the
changes that we propose, when in fact we're listening hard to working families, pensioners, carers
everywhere who want the current system changed, and the Australian Government to become the
dominant funder of it in the future.

JOURNALIST: Mr Abbott's pollie pedal wraps up today. Mr Rudd, should he pedal up some policy, as
Richard Marles said this morning?

PM: Can I say that look, I think Mr Abbott has been in some pretty fierce weather conditions and a
few steep hills. Good on him for having made it through. If it was me, probably got to day two, I
would've had to have put on the training wheels, and then fall off. But good on him.

JOURNALIST: Is the funding- sorry, just one more question- is the funding you've announced today
contingent on an agreement being reached on Monday, or will that come no matter what?

PM: What I've said today is consistent with an earlier announcement I've made on additional
training places nationally for medical training places nationally, for allied health professional
training places. These training places that I've referred to here are quite desperately needed
locally. We'll get on with that business. But you know something? To make this work, to make it
really work, we can't just have a bandaid here and a bandaid there. This is a system which requires
some fundamental surgery.

And I go back to the core of this debate. On the one hand, you have - on the one hand you have, it
seems, Mr Brumby and Mr Abbott saying that the current system is fine, and Mr Brumby's saying, just
give us another blank cheque, to the State Governments of Australia. And we are saying, no, it
needs fundamental reform to get rid of waste, and then the Australian Government funding the future
growth of the system. That's the difference in this debate.

And having said all that folks, I think I've got to zip. I've got to be somewhere else. Thanks very