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Minister must release secret government polling.

Minister Must Release Secret Government Polling


Jenny Macklin - Shadow Minister for Health


Media Statement - 21 March 2000


The Shadow Health Minister, Ms Jenny Macklin, has called on the Howard Government to release the full details of the survey undertaken by the Government for development of its Lifetime Health Cover advertising campaign.


"The Health Minister has selectively quoted from one survey but he has consistently refused to release to the Senate Estimates Committee the extensive polling work done by the Government in the preparation of its advertisements.


"Dr Wooldridge has now spent over $17.5 million of public money in the last two years promoting private insurance products. The private health funds should be paying for these advertisements themselves instead of funds being pulled out of other health programs.


"The use of public funds for secret political research is akin to the worst excesses of the Kennett Government.


"Dr Wooldridge should come clean and release all the research that he has undertaken for this advertising campaign so the public can see the full story.


"The Minister continues to quote very misleading figures on public hospital funding. His comparison to the previous Medicare agreements is exaggerated. The funds actually paid out by the Howard Government have not kept pace with population growth and the increased cost of medical treatment.


"The States have all condemned the Howard Government for failing to adequately index funding in line with the recommendations of the Independent Arbiter. Public hospitals have once again been short-changed," Ms Macklin said.


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.