15 January 2010 A former senior Labor adviser’s recommendation that the Federal Department of Health virtually be abolished is a stinging indictment of Kevin Rudd and his hapless Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said the findings of the Baxter report, as detailed by The Australian today, were an astounding indication that neither the Prime Minister nor his Health Minister were able to control the health department or health agenda.
“Remember this was the ‘dynamic’ duo that was going to ‘fix’ hospitals and ‘end the blame game’ in health,” Mr Dutton said.
“Instead what this report apparently indicates is that they cannot even get their own department to focus on issues besetting Australia’s health system.”
Mr Dutton said the report to the Prime Minister also argued that there was a strong case for the Commonwealth to takeover the financing of public hospitals.
“Of course that was something Kevin Rudd promised he would pursue if he had not ‘fixed’ public hospitals by mid-last year.”
“Now he’s promising to tell us what his plan to ‘fix’ hospitals is by mid-this year, although two years ago he told voters he already had a plan.”
“The only thing that’s clear about Labor’s plans for health is that they are a total sham,” Mr Dutton said.
“Kevin Rudd is going to prove to be no better at managing health than any of the numerous State Labor Premiers whose hollow promises about ‘fixing’ health have all been shown to be worthless.”
The Baxter report from the Australian Centre for Health Research follows AMA President Dr Andrew Pesce’s public call yesterday for Kevin Rudd to deliver on his promise to ‘fix’ hospitals.
Mr Dutton said the Prime Minister was now being exposed on a daily basis as an abject failure in health, having failed to meet his many commitments to the Australian people.
Media contact – John Wiseman 07 3205 9977 – 0429 983 618