NACCHO #Healthelection16 : Shorten takes on Indigenous affairs in new shadow Ministry , King stays in health

Shorten and Dodson

The Opposition Leader vowed that his frontbench would champion Labor values and maintain pressure on the Coalition after it “scraped home” in the federal election.

“We’re adding great energy with a new team,” Mr Shorten said.

“We’re building on the strong policy foundation of the last three years and will bring fresh voices to the national conversation.”

PLEASE NOTE : we will be publishing details of the Coalition Indigenous health team when more info is made available from the Ministers office ;

Mr Shorten has reshuffled some key portfolios,

DOWNLOAD PDF all Shadow Ministry positions

New Shorten Shadow Ministry July 2016

Mr Shorten will take responsibility for Indigenous affairs.

The Opposition Leader said he would depend on the advice of Labor senator and Indigenous leader Pat Dodson, who will become shadow assistant minister for the portfolio.

“Patrick has been a great mentor and friend and adviser to me in the area and I will look forward to working closely with him, and will rely greatly upon his wisdom,” Mr Shorten said.


AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, today welcomed the re-appointment of Catherine King to the Shadow Health portfolio, with the new title, Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare.

Dr Gannon said the AMA looks forward to continuing a cooperative working relationship with Shadow Minister King.

“Catherine knows the health policy landscape well, and was instrumental in making health policy a prominent battleground in the recent election,” Dr Gannon said.

“The AMA supported Labor’s position on lifting the Medicare freeze, scrapping the cuts to bulk billing incentives for pathology and medical imaging, and increasing public hospital funding – and we hope these policies are maintained for the new term of Parliament.

“Health policy will remain a major concern for the community.

“The health sector and patients are very fortunate to have two experienced and consultative operators in Sussan Ley and Catherine King back in charge of Health for the Government and the Opposition.

“They know the issues, they seek advice from health professionals, and they will be strong voices in their respective Parties to ensure Australian voters will be offered positive health policies at the next election.”

The AMA also congratulates Labor’s other health representatives:

  • Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health, Julie Collins;
  • Shadow Assistant Minister for Medicare, Tony Zappia; and
  • Shadow Assistant Minister for Ageing, Senator Helen Polley.

Dr Gannon notes the Opposition’s emphasis on Indigenous Affairs with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten taking the Shadow Ministry for Indigenous Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with Assistant Shadow Minister, Senator Pat Dodson.

Page 7 V2

Refer to Page 7 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper

Labor committed to addressing the injustice of poor health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Presented by Catherine King, Warren Snowdon and Shayne Neumann

Labor is committed to the efforts to Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and believes that central to this is the need to implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the period of the Gillard Government.

A Shorten Labor Government would continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, through the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and relevant health organisations such as NACCHO to implement the Health Plan.

In Government Labor would, in consultation with Congress, re establish the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, with its costs being met through the Administered funds of the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Consistent with the Health Plan, Labor is committed to  improving preventative health strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and helping to close the gap in chronic disease  and life expectancy  and this will be a major commitment of a Shorten Labor government.

Labor understands that a primary vehicle for improving health outcomes are community based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisations who provide a very high standard of comprehensive primary health services in a culturally safe and respectful environment.

A Shorten Labor Goverment would continue to work closely with these services as they continue to grow in a sustainable way.

The shameful facts remain, despite the improvements in service delivery over recent years, that the burden of ill health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is two-and-a-half times higher than that of other Australians.

In large part this is due to the higher incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and kidney disease; much of this is preventable.

This is simply unacceptable to Labor, is a national disgrace and must be addressed..

In response to this crisis and after having consulted widely, a Shorten Labor Government will invest in tailored, culturally-appropriate health programs aimed at preventing chronic disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander





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