7 July 2011 Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton today called for the public release of a report upon which the Gillard Government has justified its backdown on key elements of its health ‘reforms’.
Mr Dutton said the Minister should release the report immediately.
The Heads of Agreement which emerged from the special Council of Australian Governments meeting on health in February this year established an Expert Panel to provide advice on the Government’s promises to set a four hour target for treatment of patients in Emergency Departments and targets for treatment times for patients needing elective surgery.
The Heads of Agreement declared that the document would be publicly released after COAG consideration.
“Given that the Prime Minister has now cancelled the COAG meeting set for Friday July 15 and not set another date for the COAG to meet, the Health Minister should publicly release the Expert Panel report now,” Mr Dutton said.
“Just as Kevin Rudd’s promises in health fell apart and were never implemented, things are falling apart under Julia Gillard.”
“What was left of the Rudd promises are fast disappearing and Australians deserve to know why this Government continues to breach its commitments to them.”
“Minister Roxon has admitted that these promises to set targets for treatment in emergency and for elective surgery and to move public patients into private hospitals if public hospitals couldn’t treat them on time are now not going to be honoured, she should show us the evidence upon which her decisions to dump them were made,” Mr Dutton said.
Extract from COAG Heads of Agreement – Clause 39 – Page 6
1. COAG will seek the advice of an Expert Panel comprising a chair, an expert clinician and a former senior health administrator, on the effective implementation of these standards during the lifetime of the National Partnership.
a. The Expert Panel will be appointed by COAG and will issue its first report to COAG prior to 30 June 2011.
b. The parties agree that COAG will:
i. actively consider the recommendations of the Expert Panel and address its substantive findings;
ii. publicly release the report following COAG consideration;