Speaking at the NSW Nurses Association Conference in Sydney, Prime Minister Gillard re-iterated the Governments plans to re-build a national health and hospital system that includes:
- rolling out 1,300 new sub-acute beds across the country,
- delivering 23 GP Super Clinics and upgrades to around 425 GP practices,
- improving after hours care through a 24 hour helpline that provides access to a nurse or GP over the phone – weekdays and weekends, and
- investing in the training and upskilling of the health workforce.
"These reforms are the most significant reforms to the health and hospitals system since the introduction of Medicare".
The Prime Minister was quick to remind delegates that as one of Australia's longest serving Health Ministers, Tony Abbott had stripped $1billion from the health system and had capped the number of trained health professionals.
"Mr Abbott’s funding cuts took away the money needed to pay nurses overtime, and then WorkChoices sought to take away their right to overtime altogether", she told delegates.