NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts : PM announces new Rural Health Minister to Close the Gap – but no longer in cabinet

PM

” The team that I am announcing today will deliver on the economic plan and the Budget strategy we put to the Australian people.

As the re-elected Coalition Government we have a clear mandate to proceed with our policies. We are committed to three years of strong, stable economic leadership so we can provide both the economic security and the national security that Australians expect and deserve.

We will be implementing our mental health policy and Health Care Home policy, as an important reaffirmation of our commitment to a first-class health system – a first-class universal health system.

I have met and spoken with the new President of the AMA and I am confident we will have a better working relationship with the AMA and its general practitioner membership.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing his new ministry :

Download a PDF Full Ministry

Pictured above delivering his first Close the Gap speech earlier this year

” The AMA has repeatedly said that it is not credible that Australia, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, cannot address the health and social justice issues that affect 3 per cent of its citizens. We say this again. The fact that it is our nation’s first people makes it an even greater moral imperative.

With the re-election of the Turnbull Government, the AMA will continue its call for long-term funding and commitments to Indigenous health. We will work closely with key ministers, government departments and other key stakeholders to ensure that appropriate action is taken.

Dr Michael Gannon AMA President

We are pleased to see Dr Gillespie taking on the crucial portfolio responsibility of Rural Health.

While we strongly welcome Dr Gillespie’s appointment, we are disappointed to be losing from the portfolio Senator Fiona Nash, who has been a true champion of the rural health sector over many years in federal politics, and who most recently held the Rural Health portfolio in the Federal Cabinet.

And while we are disappointed to see the Rural Health portfolio lost from Cabinet, we are confident that Minister Nash will continue to bring to the Cabinet table a strong voice on key rural health issues

RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee.

We look forward to continuing to work with Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM and newly-appointed Assistant Minister for Rural Health Dr David Gillespie in the coming months and years,”

“The clear message from the election is that Australians value universal healthcare highly and want our Government to commit to an accessible, equitable and affordable health system.

“While the Coalition’s recent health initiatives have made some amends for the damaging cuts in the 2014 Budget, there is much work still to be done to address issues of access, equity and affordability.”

AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven

“Asked by a journalist if he had consulted any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people before reappointing Nigel Scullion as Indigenous Affairs Minister, the PM replied:

Nigel has been doing an outstanding job as Indigenous Affairs Minister and I am delighted that he is continuing in that role. I have met with many Indigenous people, including recently at the handover or conclusion, if you like, of the title deeds of the Kenbi land claim in Darwin not so long ago, which I think many of you were present at.”

That sounds like a big fat non-acknowlegement of the Redfern Statement in which Indigenous organisations, with the backing of many health groups and NGOs, issued a landmark election challenge calling for transformative action to address structural inequalities, and to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

If the PM and his Government fail to engage with the substantive issues identified by the Statement, then let’s hope the front-page headline writers hold them to account. If not, maybe the Twittersphere will?

From Melissa Sweet Croakey : We are promised “bold and ambitious” health reform. What are the chances?

View full article HERE

SUSSAN Ley has held onto the high profile health minister role in the re-elected Malcolm Turnbull federal government after fears she would be made a scapegoat for Labor’s “Medi-scare” campaign.

The member for Farrer was shielded from much of the heat applied by Labor leader Bill Shortern on the future of Medicare which took his party to the brink of an unlikely election victory on July 2.

Ms Ley was promoted to health minister in late 2014 by former Prime Minister Tony Abbottt and has retained the position in two ministerial re-shuffles following his deposing as PM last year by Mr Turnbull and the election.

“I have confidence in all of my ministers including (Ms Ley),” Mr Turnbull said.

Full MinistryDownload Full Ministry

Ms Ley said she was delighted to remain health minister.

“The Turnbull Government has developed a bold and ambitious health reform agenda needed to deliver a first-class, universal health system and I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to continue this important work,” she said.

“This includes protecting the future of Medicare and ensuring it remains universally accessible to all Australians.

“However, we must not be afraid to ask the tough questions and ensure every taxpayer dollar spent on health lands as close to the patient as possible.

“A failure to ensure our national health spend is efficient will ultimately fail the patients who need it most.”

The AMA today congratulated Sussan Ley on being re-appointed as Health Minister in the Turnbull Government.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that Ms Ley’s experience in the portfolio, and the lessons learned from the election, will help her lead a new direction for Coalition health policy in the Government’s second term.

Dr Gannon said the close election result, and the prominence of health issues in campaigning right up to Election Day, mean that the Government must review and renew its health platform to appeal to voters.

“The Government, led by Health Minister Ley, must first scrap the Medicare rebate freeze, reverse the cuts to pathology and medical imaging bulk billing incentives, and properly fund public hospitals,” Dr Gannon said.

“Having admitted that health worked against the Government in the election, the Prime Minister must also take an active role in setting a new health policy direction for the Coalition.

“I have already had preliminary talks with the Prime Minister about the way forward in health.

“A renewed commitment to prevention must be at the centre of the Government’s fresh approach to health, along with stronger support for primary care, especially through general practice.”

Dr Gannon said the AMA shares the Government’s view that health care funding into the future must be sustainable, and would welcome close collaboration to ensure universal access to quality health services for all Australians for the long term.

“The Government must consult closely with the whole health sector in the development of new health policies and the reshaping of existing policies to ensure better outcomes.

“The key to good health policy is talking to the doctors and other health professionals who work in the health system every day looking after patients and hearing their concerns.

“The AMA looks forward to working with Minister Ley on policies that deliver quality affordable health services,” Dr Gannon said.

The AMA congratulates Dr David Gillespie on his appointment as Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

Doctors welcome new Assistant Minister for Rural Health

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the appointment of Dr David Gillespie MP as the Federal Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

RDAA has also paid tribute to the outgoing Federal Minister for Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash, who has been a strong champion for the rural health sector over many years. She will retain a number of other portfolios, including as Minister for Regional Development and Regional Communications, and will remain in Cabinet.

“We are pleased to see Dr Gillespie taking on the crucial portfolio responsibility of Rural Health” RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said.

“He and his family have lived in regional NSW for many years, and before entering Parliament he had a 33 year career in medical practice. Dr Gillespie was also active in Postgraduate Medical Training as Director of Physician training at Port Macquarie Base Hospital and also lectured and tutored at the UNSW Rural Medical School.

“Given a key issue for us going forward will be working with the Federal Government as it develops and implements a National Rural Generalist Pathway — which RDAA has called for over many years and which the

Government committed to during the election campaign — it will be great to have someone with Dr Gillespie’s experience to drive this forward.

“The National Rural Generalist Pathway has real potential to deliver more of the right doctors with the right skills to the rural and remote communities where they are most needed, and we look forward to seeing real action taken to progress this over the coming months.

“We also look forward to working with Dr Gillespie to bring into place the role of National Rural Health Commissioner — a measure for which RDAA also advocated and to which the Federal Government committed — and to drive forward many critical policy measures to attract and retain more much-needed doctors in rural and remote areas.

“While we strongly welcome Dr Gillespie’s appointment, we are disappointed to be losing from the portfolio Senator Fiona Nash, who has been a true champion of the rural health sector over many years in federal politics, and who most recently held the Rural Health portfolio in the Federal Cabinet.

“And while we are disappointed to see the Rural Health portfolio lost from Cabinet, we are confident that Minister Nash will continue to bring to the Cabinet table a strong voice on key rural health issues, and the measures required to improve access to healthcare in the bush. We look forward to continuing to work with her in her wider Regional Development and Regional Communications portfolios.

“We are also pleased to see Sussan Ley MP retain the portfolio of Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, and look forward to continuing to work with her on key issues impacting on rural doctors and their patients.

“In addition to a range of important rural health issues, there remain a number of wider healthcare issues — like the Medicare patient rebate indexation freeze — that continue to bite rural patients who are already finding healthcare unaffordable, and also impact rural practices that are facing increasing cost pressures.

“We look forward to meeting with Minister Ley, Minister Gillespie and Minister Nash soon to start to progress some exciting policy measures for the rural and remote healthcare sector, and the patients our sector serves.”

 

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