30 May 2011 Joint media release from The Hon Peter Dutton MP Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells Shadow Minister for Ageing and Shadow Minister for Mental Health. Health Minister Nicola Roxon will be forced to convene a meeting with State Health Ministers in a desperate bid to salvage Labor’s so-called health ‘reform’.
Senate Estimates was told today that the Federal Government was trying to arrange a meeting for next week to resolve an impasse over its legislation to establish yet another bureaucracy – the National Health Performance Authority.
“That meeting will involve another massive backdown by Nicola Roxon,” the Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton said.
Mr Dutton said the National Health Performance Authority Bill – introduced into Parliament on March 3 – was unpalatable to several states and stakeholders and would require significant amendment if it was to be accepted.
“One state is even calling for the whole idea of this new bureaucracy to be abandoned.”
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said today’s Community Affairs Estimates hearings had shown the Gillard Government’s attempts to revive the Rudd health ‘reforms’ were shambolic.
“The National Performance Authority is supposed to be in operation on July 1. Yet the legislation to establish it has not even passed the Parliament.”
With the July 1 start date looming for many elements of Labor’s health reform, the Department of Health revealed today that it still did not know how many Local Hospital Networks there would be across Australia. It did not know how many would be ready to start by July 1.
No contracts had been let for the ill-defined Medicare Locals – 15 of which are also due to start operating on July 1.
It did not know when Lead Clinician Groups would be established.
A key element of the so-called ‘reforms’ the Independent Pricing Authority was still to be finalised at the next COAG meeting.
The Department was unable to guarantee the Gillard Government’s promise that there would not be any increase in the number of bureaucrats at either a State or Federal level as a result of its chaotic health changes.