Wednesday 28 November 2012 Shadow Minister Peter Dutton and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon are calling on the Gillard Government to resolve the ‘Chemotherapy Crisis’ caused by Labor’s management of the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS).
“This is another cruel failure from Tanya Plibersek. It has created huge uncertainty for cancer patients. This Minister was warned months ago and let it happen. Patients deserve to have confidence in receiving timely treatment,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton and Senator Xenophon will move motions in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively, to solve the crisis created by the Gillard Government’s failure to consult with stakeholders.
The motions call on the Government to negotiate with stakeholders to ensure the continued delivery of chemotherapy drugs, without disruption to patients, by resolving dispensing cost issues and avoiding further unintended consequences.
Mr Dutton has questioned Minister Plibersek’s ability to manage change in her portfolio.
“This Minister is lurching from crisis to crisis, Tanya Plibersek always fails to manage change, whether it’s PBS price disclosure, medical internships or huge prepayments of private health insurance,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton suspects that the PBS is another area of Health that Minister Plibersek is unable to defend from Labor’s budget cuts.
“Labor’s record on new drug approvals is an abysmal decline by two thirds. PBAC positive recommendations were about 36% in 2008/09, declining to about 11% in 2011/12. Tanya Plibersek needs to explain if she has allowed Ministers Swan and Wong to stand over the PBAC to reduce PBS costs to the budget,” Mr Dutton
Mr Dutton highlighted that Labor’s successive policy failures hurt family budgets.
“This is not about price disclosure, which the Coalition introduced to bring health costs down. Labor can’t effectively execute policies. They can’t secure our borders. They send power prices up. They can’t be trusted to deliver health services. All of their failures mean pain for families.” Mr Dutton said.