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17 December 2010 Dutton today called on the Gillard Government to explain how the so-called Rudd-Roxon health ‘reforms’ are going to operate.
Mr Dutton said it was becoming increasingly clear that the ‘reform’ agreement the then Rudd Government and the Labor states signed up to in April was nothing but an empty shell - an exercise in spin.
“We learn today that eight months after the reform agreement states still have no idea how key elements of these so-called ‘reforms’ are supposed to operate.”
“The Minister for Health must explain why there remains little to no detail on major changes such as the establishment of ‘Medicare Locals’,” Mr Dutton said.
Reports today reveal that the NSW Government has grave concerns about the lack of information on ‘Medicare Locals’, including their governance, funding and functions.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a letter drafted for the NSW Health Minister asked the Commonwealth to detail how these new bodies are to work, given that some of them are to start operation by mid next year.
“In other words the NSW Government is saying it has no idea how these bodies that are supposed to manage and co-ordinate primary care across Australia will actually work, who will run them and under what rules they will operate.”
“It has no idea because the Commonwealth Government has not been able to detail these arrangements.”
“This is yet another case of Gillard-Rudd Government plunging recklessly ahead with a program which has no detailed implementation plan.”
“It has all the hallmarks of the pink batts scandal and ‘Building the Education Revolution’ failures,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton said the states needed certainty about how Federal Labor intended to run the nation’s health system; otherwise they should not be forced to push ahead with the changes.
“It begs the question – what did the Labor states sign up to eight months ago and why? Did they display appropriate diligence in signing up to supposed ‘reforms’ which had and  continue to have no detail or substance to them?
Mr Dutton said Health Minister Nicola Roxon must provide immediately the detail of how Medicare Locals will be formed, governed and function.
The first of these ‘Medicare Locals’ are due to begin operation mid-next year.
Media contact – John Wiseman 07 3205 9977 – 0429 983 618  
Posted in: Media Releases
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