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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4362

Senator McKENZIE (VictoriaMinister for Rural Health, Minister for Sport, Minister for Regional Communications and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (15:12): In relation to the question I took on notice from Senator Griff on 26 June, I have sought advice from Minister Hunt, who advises that the government is considering detailed responses to both inquiry reports, including consultation with stakeholders, states and territories. The government will shortly release a package of legislation to finalise major reforms on private health insurance. These reforms are designed to improve the affordability of private health insurance and improve Australians' understanding and access to private health insurance.

The government is continuing to consult with stakeholders on the reforms. Once consultations have been finalised, the government will respond to the Senate report in August 2018. The government has announced significant new measures to address rare and low-survival-rate cancers, including a $206 million clinical trial program targeting rare cancers, including those with low-survival rates, and rare diseases, and a new life-saving drugs program. In addition, the government has announced a $105 million Australian Brain Cancer Mission to double the survival rate of Australians living with brain cancer and improve their quality of life, and a new $500 million Australian Genomics mission led by Professor Ian Frazer and reporting to government towards the end of the year. The government is further consulting with states and territories on the Senate inquiry recommendations to ensure a coordinated response. The government will respond to the Senate once these processes have been finalised in late 2018.