18 April 2010 The focal point of Kevin Rudd’s so-called health reform – making the Commonwealth the dominant funder of public hospitals - appears to be disappearing fast even before the participants have sat around the COAG table.
Nicola Roxon, Kristina Keneally and Wayne Swan now are all talking about a "dedicated" pool of GST funding, as opposed to - the “con” - first proposed by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth being a "dominant funder" of health in this country.
"Dominant funding status was the centrepiece of Kevin Rudd's "reform" - well that's out the window," Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton said.
“By seeking to seize GST funds and pretend they were Commonwealth money, the Prime Minister really set negotiations with the Premiers on a tense course from day one.”
“What this shows is that Kevin Rudd has only ever been about squeezing political advantage out of health.”
Mr Dutton said the Prime Minister promised to take over financial control if he didn't fix hospitals by mid 2009.
“He was trying to trick people into believing he had done that with his GST pea and thimble manoeuvre, but now that seems to have been compromised,” Mr Dutton said.
“Putting some "transparent pool" in place is nothing like what Kevin Rudd promised on health at the last election, let alone what he proposed in his Press Club speech.”
“When you strip away the funding reform, where on earth is the reform in what Kevin Rudd first proposed?”
Media contact – John Wiseman 07 3205 9977 – 0429 983 618