On 2 May Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Shadow Minister Catherine King held an election campaign health debate at the National Press Club.
The debate and Q and A can be viewed here.
Shadow Minister King reiterated Labor’s previously announced election pledges:
a $7.5 billion investment in healthcare that includes $2.5 billion for hospitals,
$2.3 billion for cancer care,
$2.4 billion for dental health and $115 million for prevention.
Ms King contrasted Labor’s proposed investment with the Coalition’s ‘cuts, chaos and GP tax’ since 2013. She underscored the importance of services such as health and education to lift people out of poverty rather than relying on any ‘trickle down’ effects from the Coalition’s proposed tax cuts.
Minister Hunt outlined the Coalition’s record against the four pillars of healthcare he articulated when he became Health Minister in 2017:
- Primary care: $550 million investment for doctors and nurses in rural Australia, $600 million for diagnostic imaging and agreement with the AMA and RACGP to proceed with a form of team-based care for Australians aged 70+ who are enrolled at a general practice.
- Hospitals: year-over-year funding increase to public hospitals and investment in cancer centres for children in Sydney and Melbourne
- Mental health: increased funding for community mental health
- Medical research.
Minister Hunt underscored that only an open and
strong economy, with a tax regime that supports small business and people
employed, allows for the funding of essential services and the listing of new
medicines on the PBS.
Stephen Duckett, Grattan Institute - Labor and the Coalition's health policies and campaign strategy couldn't be more different this election.
Source - The Conversation.
Professor Stephen Duckett and Dr Rachel David weigh in on what the election campaign has meant for health so far, and possibilities for reform beyond the policies of the major parties.