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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 6822

Queensland: Health Care


Mr WALLACE (Fisher) (14:55): My question is to the Minister for Health. Will the minister outline to the House how a stronger economy enables the government to deliver a long-term health plan for the people of South-East Queensland? What affect would other approaches have on the delivery of health services in Queensland?


Mr HUNT (FlindersMinister for Health) (14:56): I want to thank the member for Fisher who, amongst other things, has been a passionate advocate against eating disorders and has been helping people not just in his own electorate and not just in Queensland but also around Australia, as are many members of this House. I was pleased to join him recently when we commenced the national pilot in relation to better services for those with eating disorders. However, he knows that no government can do this as well as supporting things like the PBS unless fiscal circumstances permit. We know that because Labor said that in their 2011 budget, when they deferred seven major medicines. But fiscal circumstances do permit this government to make record investment in health, and that's because there's been a plan for the economy that's produced more than a million jobs. In turn, that's allowed us to provide record funding for Medicare, an additional $30 billion for hospitals—including $7½ billion in Queensland—and support for every new medicine for the PBS.

On 1 July, this Sunday, we will be listing Kisqali. Kisqali is a new breast cancer drug. It will help over 3,200 women who would otherwise have had to have paid $70,000. Along with the member for Bonner, I recently met women in his electorate in South-East Queensland who will benefit from this medicine. These are tremendously important developments. Another thing we're able to do in South-East Queensland is support drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Caboolture in the electorate of Longman. It was a project advocated and fought for by Trevor Ruthenberg, Big Trev.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr HUNT: He is Big Trev—I've stood next to him! And do you know what? He's big-hearted and, above all else, he fought for drug and alcohol rehabilitation for Longman. We're delivering drug and alcohol rehabilitation for Longman. The reason we're doing it is because it matters.

I'm asked whether there are any other alternative approaches. In Queensland, the state Labor Party pretends there are cuts to Caboolture. False! We're adding $120 million; state Labor is ripping $21 million out. But it's not just that case. Like others, I saw the poll in The Courier Mail today that identified health as the No. 1 issue in Longman. What is interesting is that it asks the question, 'Which plan and which leader do you most trust on health?' It said, on health, Bill Shorten: 42 per cent; it said, on health, Malcolm Turnbull: 57.8 per cent. So the people of Longman are on to the Leader of the Opposition. They don't trust him and nor should anybody else. (Time expired)