Media release

Minister Ley must set new direction for health policy in second term

The AMA today congratulated Sussan Ley on being re-appointed as Health Minister in the Turnbull Government.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that Ms Ley’s experience in the portfolio, and the lessons learned from the election, will help her lead a new direction for Coalition health policy in the Government’s second term.

Dr Gannon said the close election result, and the prominence of health issues in campaigning right up to Election Day, mean that the Government must review and renew its health platform to appeal to voters.

“The Government, led by Health Minister Ley, must first scrap the Medicare rebate freeze, reverse the cuts to pathology and medical imaging bulk billing incentives, and properly fund public hospitals,” Dr Gannon said.

“Having admitted that health worked against the Government in the election, the Prime Minister must also take an active role in setting a new health policy direction for the Coalition.

“I have already had preliminary talks with the Prime Minister about the way forward in health.

“A renewed commitment to prevention must be at the centre of the Government’s fresh approach to health, along with stronger support for primary care, especially through general practice.”

Dr Gannon said the AMA shares the Government’s view that health care funding into the future must be sustainable, and would welcome close collaboration to ensure universal access to quality health services for all Australians for the long term.

“The Government must consult closely with the whole health sector in the development of new health policies and the reshaping of existing policies to ensure better outcomes.

“The key to good health policy is talking to the doctors and other health professionals who work in the health system every day looking after patients and hearing their concerns.

“The AMA looks forward to working with Minister Ley on policies that deliver quality affordable health services,” Dr Gannon said.

The AMA congratulates Dr David Gillespie on his appointment as Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

18 July 2016

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                       Kirsty Waterford                02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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