02 April 2010
Rudd Government to pin hopes on health plan
The Rudd Government’s proposed National Health and Hospitals Network, promoted as delivering one of the most important policy reforms in decades, will be the centrepiece in Federal Labor’s bid for re-election.
Furthermore, the recent health debate between Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott re-enforced Labor’s message that only the Rudd Government is equipped to deal with health as a national policy issue.
At the forefront of the health debate is Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon (pictured). “Under the Rudd Government’s National Health and Hospitals Network, we are moving to end the blame game by assuming the majority funding role for our public hospitals and taking on responsibility for all GP and related primary health care services”, Ms Roxon claimed.
Ms Roxon noted that under the proposed Network, hospitals will be funded nationally and run locally, with doctors and nurses involved in the decision-making process.
“For the first time, we will finally have one national health system that will operate to one set of national standards”, she said.
Described as the most important and fundamental reform of our health system since the introduction of Medicare, the Rudd Government is determined to deliver better health and hospitals services.
Indeed the current health debate has centred on the claim that for too long, the health system has been the subject of duplication and buck-passing between the Commonwealth and the States.
With the ongoing debate unresolved, many believe that the biggest losers have been patients in emergency rooms, hospital beds and GP surgeries right around the country.
“These reforms are long overdue and have become even more critical to improve the quality of our health services after more than a decade of neglect from the previous Liberal-National Government”, Ms Roxon noted.
Labor has also pointed out that as Health Minister, Tony Abbott ‘ripped away’ $1 billion from the health system, and put a disastrous cap on the number of training places available for GPs.
The Rudd Government claims that it has not only restored essential funding, but that it has increased the funding to the health system by 50 per cent in the latest healthcare agreement with the States and Territories.
The Government has also pointed out that it has made serious investments in the facilities and infrastructure of the health and hospitals system. With these claims in mind, and with the Opposition still without a credible health policy, it is expected that the 2010 election will focus much of its energy in debating Mr Rudd’s plan.