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In an apparent act of desperation to justify over 3,000 new bureaucratic positions in the Medicare Local network, Minister Plibersek has sought to misrepresent the findings in a report released by the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA), Australians’ experience with primary health care in 2010-11.

The Minister in her press release, Report highlights the importance of Medicare Locals, makes the following two inconsistent statements:

“...the National Health Performance Authority (report) reinforced the importance of Medicare Locals...”

“While the data in this report predates the establishment of Medicare Locals...”

The Minister pretends to quote from a report to justify 3,000 staff that have grown from a couple of hundred in 12 months, when the report by her own admission was compiled under data predating the establishment of Medicare Locals.

“This is the first time Minister Plibersek has confirmed that over 3,000 people, mostly staff who don’t see any patients, are employed across the Medicare Local network,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Government is now spending $1 billion on its dozen new bureaucratic structures, and it wonders why it has no money left for patients.

“Despite the Minister’s misrepresentations, the Coalition has consistently said that we support a role for the coordination of primary care, but we don’t support money being prioritised away from patients into vast bureaucratic structures.

“It should also be noted that the Federal Department and its existing agencies already employ over 6,000 people and according to the Minister this number has now effectively increased by 50 percent.

“When the sorry period of the Rudd/Gillard Government comes to an end, Minister Plibersek will be remembered for pouring taxpayers’ money into bureaucratic positions, not into more doctors, nurses or beds,” Mr Dutton said.

Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045

Posted in: Media Releases
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