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National advertising campaign to inform indigenous Australians about the PBS.

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Media Release

Senator the Hon Kay Patterson Minister for Health and Ageing

August 13, 2003


The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson today launched a major national advertising campaign to inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The campaign features Australian Tennis legend Evonne Goolagong-Cawley.

Senator Patterson said the campaign would comprise a series of radio and press advertisements to inform Indigenous Australians about the importance of the PBS and how it assists in improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"The PBS is a tremendous scheme, yet most Australians don't realise just how much their medications are subsidised," she said.

Senator Patterson said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander campaign would complement the non-Indigenous campaign by targeting Indigenous media and using specifically tailored Indigenous messages and imagery.

"The campaign highlights how important it is to follow your doctor and chemist’s instructions on how to take the medicine prescribed for you," Senator Patterson said.

Campaign ambassador, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley will feature in press, radio and video messages designed to raise awareness of the PBS for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Mrs Goolagong-Cawley said many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people could not afford to access medication they need without the subsidies provided by the PBS.

"It is important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are aware of the PBS and how it improves our lives because it is an important factor in improving the health of our community," Ms Goolagong-Cawley said.

The advertising campaign forms part of the PBS Community Awareness Campaign, a 2002-03 Federal budget initiative aimed at securing the future of the PBS.

A campaign booklet detailing information about the PBS will be available at doctors' surgeries, Aboriginal Community

Controlled Health Services, Aboriginal Health Services and pharmacies.

People with questions about the PBS can call the PBS information telephone line on 1800 020 613 (freecall) or visit

Media inquiries: Randal Markey, Media Adviser, Senator Patterson's office, 02 6277 7220.