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Wooldridge blows up Howard's Medicare promise.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

THE HON MICHAEL LEE MP

MEMBER FOR DOBELL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

 

WOOLDRIDGE BLOWS UP HOWARD’S MEDICARE PROMISE

 

“Having failed to bludgeon the States into accepting an inadequate Medicare Agreement, Dr Wooldridge has now blown up the P rime Minister’s personal promise to maintain funding for public hospitals”, according to shadow health minister, Michael Lee.

 

“Like Peter Reith, Michael Wooldridge is too busy accusing and abusing the States to make any progress in resolving the impasse which is threatening the future of public hospitals.”

 

“Late yesterday reports surfaced (see attached ABC article) that a spokesman for Dr Wooldridge said the Government’s patience may run out and it could change its offer of payment.

 

“At a time when public hospitals are in crisis, Dr Wooldridge is now threatening to cut his funding offer to the States.

 

“His threats to cut the Medicare offer to the States are childish, petulant and directly contradict assurances by the Prime Minister in the Parliament that the Commonwealth will not reduce its offer.

 

“In question time, on the 23rd of March, the Prime Minister said the following:

“…I make it very clear to the patients of Australia and to the public of Australia: you will not suffer because of the petulance o f the Premiers. Every single dollar contained in the offer that we made will be delivered in full and on time.”

 

“It says a lot about the weakness of John Howard’s leadership that the Health Minister can blow up the Prime Minister’s personal promise on hos pital funding because he has run out of patience."

 

“This issue isn’t about patience, it’s about patients.

 

“Yesterday State health ministers warned that more than a million patients will be added to waiting lists unless the Commonwealth improves its offer.

 

“John Howard must tell the Health Minister to get his temper under control, drop his misleading claims about the Commonwealth’s offer and start reasonable discussions with the States over fair funding to begin to address the crisis in public hospitals.”

 

6 May 1998

 

Contact: Michael Lee, 02 6277 4221 Parliament House, 0417 277 477 Mobile