12 December 2011 Having failed to deliver on crucial promises – including to “fix” public hospitals – Nicola Roxon has fled her failures after four tumultuous years as Health Minister.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said there was no significant success in health that Nicola Roxon could point to as an accomplishment, unless she considered the billions that will be wasted on duplicating bureaucracy was a job well done.
“Labor’s so-called health reform has turned out to be nothing more than business-as-usual, waiting lists continue to grow, public hospital services have not improved, in fact in some states they are going backwards,” Mr Dutton said.
“Patients have been hurt by deferrals of drug listings on the PBS, cuts to rebates for cataract surgery and cuts to the Medicare Safety Net, private health insurance remains under attack and is being undermined.”
“The health portfolio is strewn with Labor’s broken promises and in typical Labor style, the person responsible is just shifted on rather than being held accountable,” Mr Dutton said.
“Labor’s culture of economic and policy incompetence has been a huge drag on the health portfolio which a quick change of Minister is unlikely to fix.”
Mr Dutton said the Gillard Government, as a whole, would continue to be divided and dysfunctional.
“It remains to be seen whether Tanya Plibersek is more effective than Nicola Roxon in standing up to her colleagues and stopping the ideological attacks in health and focusing resources on services to patients rather than building bureaucratic fiefdoms.”
“Nicola Roxon’s time as Health Minister has been characterised by over-promising and under-delivering and Tanya Plibersek’s first challenge is to reverse that trend.”
“Her continued attack as Human Services Minister on the nation’s dentists over the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme will no doubt be concerning to many health professionals.”