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Health care system needs urgent surgery



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MB&. P A R L IA M E N T OF A U S T R A L IA

H O U S E OF R E P R E S E N T A T IV E S

peter Shack, m . p. f e d e r a l m e m b e r f o r t a n g n e y

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

COMMONWEALTH

parliamentary library MICAH

P.O. SOK lie#, ROORAOOON, WA. 61M SUITE 8, GATEWAY MELVILLE CITY CENTRE BOORAGOON TEL. 1091 364 5554, 1062) 77 4169

FAX; (09) 364 9971

M E D I A R E L E A S E .

24thJ§ebruary, 1989 11/89.

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM NEEDS URGENT SURGERY

Medicare ie in need of urgent surgery according to Liberal, National and Country Liberal Party Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Health who met in Sydney today.

Meeting Chairman, Federal Shadow Minister for Health, Peter Shack, said "All participants in the discussions agreed that unless Medicare is drastically over-hauled Australians will continue to be ill-served by a health care system which ie on

the point of collapse.

"Long hospital queues and high health costs will only be cut when Medicare is substantially reformed.

"Health spokesmen from all States and Territories attended the meeting and expressed the unanimous v i e w that it is imperative that a proper balance be restored between the utilisation of public and private health care resources.

"Until such time as this occurs, the States and Territories, through their public hospital systems, will continue to bear an inordinate share of the health cost burden.

"Ways of achieving this objective include the provision of incentives for more people to take out private health insurance and placing greater emphasis on the use of the resources of the private hospital system.

"The Hawke Government's proposed new Commonwealth/State Medicare Hospital Funding Agreements were condemned as reflecting a strong desire on the part of the Commonwealth to impose its policies on the States and Territories.

"This is a matter of grave concern to the States and

Territories which are keen to achieve a greater degree of cooperation in the provision of health care services and the elimination of costly and wasteful duplication of effort.

"In addition, the States and Territories are keen to arrive at a national plan of action for dealing w ith the AIDS

epidemic which is seen as being one of the most important

public health issues currently confronting the community as a w h o l e .

"Participants in the meeting agreed that Federal/State cooperation is the key to ensuring that all Australians have access to the highest quality health care and they plan to

hold future meetings to continue to develop a unified approach to solving the problems created by Labor's M e d i c a r e .*

Contacts (09) 364 2775 N.B. List of meeting participants attached.

HEMffl MEgmr, ΗΕΓΟ TNf 3*ϋλ1· Y 24m FmgMOf. 1989

Mr Peter Shack, M.P. Federal Shadcw Minister for Health

Mr R Braithwaite, M.P. Federal Shadow Minister for Ccniuunlt Services and Aged Care

The Hon M Btrrell, M.L.C. Shadow Minister for Health Victoria

Die Hon M Cameron, M.L.C. Spokesperson for Health South Australia

The Hon P Collins, M.P. Minister for Health New South Wades

The Hon D Dale, M.L.A. Minister for Health and Ccraounity Services Northern Territory

The Hon I J Gilt» M.P. Minister for Health Queensland

The Hon R Groan, M.H.A. Minister for Health Tasmania

Mr A Sherlock, M.L.A. Liberal Shadow Health Spokesman Queensland

The Hon D Laidlaw, M.L.C. Opposition Spokesperson on Community Relations ana Services