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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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Income tax proposal a cop out

The Liberals are proving they're not up to the task of tax reform, again dumping their budget problems on state and territory governments, the Australian Greens have said.

"The Turnbull Government doesn't have the ticker to take on any difficult areas of reform so it's looking for an easy way out," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"Instead of having the courage to take on unfair tax breaks like negative gearing, capital gains tax and fossil fuel subsidies, the PM is surrendering on real reform.

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Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016

That the following bills be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend certain territory legislation to restore legislative powers concerning euthanasia and to repeal the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997, and for related purposes.

Question agreed to.

I present the bill and move:

That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a first time.

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Immunisation

Senator DI NATALE

I move:

That the Senate notes that:

(a) in the past 20 years, Australia has an excellent record of achievement in the prevention of disease through immunisation;

(b) in the most recent annual data records (2012), there were 1,897 adverse events following immunisation;

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Cross-party push for Territory rights on dying with dignity

Australian Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale has today reached across party lines to give notice of a co-sponsored bill that would overturn a 20 year old private member's bill by Kevin Andrews that banned the Northern Territory and ACT from legislating dying with dignity laws.

"This bill will help put dying with dignity legislation on the national agenda," said Dr Richard Di Natale.

"As a doctor, when someone gets a terminal diagnosis the feel very anxious about what their final days may bring - this legislation can give comfort at a time of great distress.

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