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Australian Greens - Meeting rural health needs

Leader of the Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has made a commitment to support the health needs of Australians living in rural areas. 

The Australian Greens call for the development of a National Rural Health Plan that will establish key areas of need for remote Australians, like an appropriate health workforce for the future, and develop strategies to improve health outcomes.

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Di Natale: Time to end the harm caused by illicit drugs

Speaking at a conference in Sydney this afternoon, Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale announced a Harm Reduction Innovation Fund to invest in practices that reduce and prevent the harm caused by illicit drugs.

"The old ways of dealing with Australia's longstanding illicit drug issue just don't work. We need to look beyond simply locking people up, to create clever, innovative ways to solve Australia's drug crisis."

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Three shockers make a bad Budget for health

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale says Scott Morrison's 4-year fiscal plan won't please anyone who values a quality health system.

"This Budget attacks universal dental care, cuts millions out of frontline health services, and contains a Medicare co-payment by stealth," Senator Di Natale said.

"Australians who value a quality health system will not be motivated to vote for the Liberals or Nationals at this election."

MBS indexation freeze: a Medicare co-payment by stealth

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The government's cuts to dental care

Senator DI NATALE

I move:

That the Senate—

(a)   recognises the success of the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, which has provided access to dental care to children aged 2 to 17 since 2014;

(b)   notes:

(i)   That the broad exclusion of dental care from Australia's public health system causes hardship and poor patient outcomes for millions of Australians,

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Hospital Funding in Regional Victoria

Senator DI NATALE

I move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister (Senator Brandis), no later than 3 pm on Wednesday, 4 May 2016, all documents created between October 2013 and May 2016 relating to the funding of hospitals in regional Victoria, and, in particular, the funding of Wangaratta hospital, including the withdrawal of $10 million, and any commitments made to the former Member for Indi (Mrs Mirabella) in relation to such funds.

Question agreed to.

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Motion in support of Hospitals Fundion

That the Senate— (a) notes that the ongoing uncertainty around hospital funding continues to threaten Australia's health system, putting patients at risk; and

(b) calls on the Government to restore fair and equitable funding for hospitals by reinstating the hospital funding model developed by former Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, in which the Commonwealth and states share the costs of delivering hospital services, and abolished by then Prime Minister, Mr Abbott, in the 2014 Budget.

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Liberals' dental shocker undermines universal care

The Greens have rejected the Liberals' pre-election promise to change Australia's publicly funded dental care program, warning it will limit patient access.

"This plan is a shocker. If it's allowed to go ahead it will totally undermine the push for universal Medicare funded access to dental care," said Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

"80 per cent of dental clinics will be off-limits to patients using this program, which relies only on dental systems run by the states.

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Tobacco taxation in Australia

I was able to hear the first part of Senator Leyonhjelm's speech, which was more of a pitch for tobacco donations to help fund his re-election campaign than it was based on evidence or fact. Senator Leyonhjelm is, clearly, somebody who benefits substantially from those huge donations from the tobacco industry.

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A good idea but chronically underfunded

Australian Greens Leader and former public health doctor, Senator Richard Di Natale, today said the government’s new chronic illness package has acknowledged the right problem but allocated the wrong resourcing.

“Improving coordinated care for people with chronic illness is sorely needed but the government’s proposed trial is light on detail and funding,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Based on the Minister’s comments this morning, a funding commitment equal to $340 per patient appears to be woefully inadequate.

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Greens announce health funding proposal

Australian Greens Leader and public health specialist, Dr Richard Di Natale, has today announced the Greens plan to phase out the private health insurance rebate and reinvest the savings in the public health system, including reinstating hospital funding now and for the long-term.

“It’s never easy to talk about withdrawing subsidies in an election year,” said Senator Di Natale. “But the Greens have the courage to call the private health insurance rebate what it is – unfair, inflationary and inefficient.

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