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Greens back Medicare expansion.

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Senator Kerry Nettle Senator for New South Wales

Greens back Medicare expansion Senator Nettle, 19th January 2006 The Australian Greens spokesperson for Health, Senator Kerry Nettle has supported recommendations by the Productivity Commission to extend Medicare to health workers such as nurses, physiotherapists and midwives for some procedures.

"This simple step would immediately alleviate the healthcare crisis in outer metropolitan, rural and remote areas by alleviating acute workforce shortages," Senator Nettle said today.

"The Greens have long campaigned for midwives to have access to Medicare as they have the professional expertise. Midwives can provide an equivalent service as an obstetrician or gynaecologist to healthy pregnant women and women across the country are requesting their services.

"Senator Nettle responded to the Australian Medical Association's concerns that such changes could lower standards by suggesting that provided the Government ensures vigorous training and the ongoing review of medical skills, standards could be improved.

"The Productivity Commission's suggestions will not solve the lack of support for public health care services in Australia. A real solution must involve significant increases in public hospital funding, redirection of the private health insurance rebate to public health needs and abolishing barriers to a university education.

"It must be remembered that this proposal is only one part of what needs to be done to support public health care in Australia" Senator Nettle said.

More information: Kristian Bolwell (02)96902038 //0411638320 Created by Administration Last modified 19-01-2006 06:22 PM