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'A healthy future' under a Coalition government

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‘A Healthy Future’ Under A Coalition Government

The Coalition’s Health Policy will improv e the access of all Australians to quality health care. It will also minimise preventable illnesses through targeted public health initiatives.

A Coalition Government will ensure z successful balance between public and private health care.

We will maintain Medicare in its entirety. We will retain bulk billing and all other aspects of Medicare. We will not increase the Medicare Levy.

The Medicare system can only work effectively if there is also a viable private health care sector. Under Labor, however, the proportion of the population with private health insurance has fallen from 61% to 34%, and premiums have risen by 30% over the past three years.

A Coalition Government will provide incentives to Australians who have, or take out, private health insurance. Unlike Labor, our incentives will be available to alLAustralians · singles, couples without children, pensioners and self-funded retirees as well as families with dependant children.

For eligible holders of private heaitlVmsurancc, the Coalition’s incentives will be $125 per year for singles, $250 per year fur couples and $450 per year for families with dependants (which include sole parents with dependant children).

The incentives will be available from 1 July 1997. They will be available for single people with total taxable incomes of up to $35,000, and to couples and families with dependants with total combined family taxable incomes of up to $70,000 a year.

All recipients will be able to choose to receive the incentive as a tax rebate at the end of the financial year or to receive direct payments from Medicare offices.

A Coalition Government will also implement a number of public health initiatives in areas such as maternal health, childhood immunisation, child and adolescent health, diabetes control and good health of senior Australians. Details of these new initiatives will be announced in our Health Throughout Life program to be announced later in the campaign.

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Wc will also address the difficulties faced by people with disabilities and ividen the range of choices available to them. We recognise the importance of fostering skills development within a highly supportive environment. We will retain and develop supported employment, open employment and business services (sheltered workshops) as complementary

employment options for people with disabilities.

Our policy today also includes a range of initiatives to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues, particularly in relation to public health and health infrastructure.

We also provide details of measures to enhance the role of general practitioners and pharmacists, and to address the crisis in the availability of medical care in rural and remote Australia.

In the area of disability services, a Coalition Government will promote employment opportunities, better support networks and effective co-ordination of the resources of governments, communities, voluntary agencies, individuals and employers.

Our Health Policy today also commits a Coalition Government to provide a range of residential and community-based aged care services which offer real choice to older Australians and their families. We will introduce from 1 January 1997 a dementia-specific Commonwealth subsidy for residential facilities. .

12 February 1996

For further information contact Anthony Benscher on 015 729 959.