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Greens announce national health package

Media Release
Christine Milne 28 Aug 2013

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne joined Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale in Canberra today to launch the Greens' $9 billion national health package.

"In a caring society, every Australian should have the right to good quality healthcare," Senator Milne said.

"The Greens' national health policy is about making sure that your health doesn't depend on your bank balance or your postcode.

"The Greens stand up for what matters and that's why we've made investment in healthcare a priority for this election."

Senator Di Natale said that the Greens are tackling the major challenges in health policy, unlike the old parties.

"The old parties are ignoring the major health challenges our country faces and they continue to take us ever closer towards a two-tiered American-style system. Only the Greens are standing up for universal healthcare because we believe that your bank balance shouldn't determine your health care.

"Rising out-of-pocket costs in healthcare are making it harder for people to access treatment. The Greens have a strong commitment to universal health care and will reduce out of pocket costs by giving everyone access to Denticare and by investing in Medicare.

"The Greens will invest an additional $1.5 billion in Australia's hospitals to help relieve the pressure on emergency departments and hospital waiting lists. One third will be earmarked for rural and regional hospitals because we believe that where you live shouldn't restrict your access to healthcare. We will also invest in rural health workforce, services and infrastructure.

"But health policy shouldn't just be about treating people when they get sick, it must be about helping people stay out of hospital. That's why the Greens are showing leadership on preventative health with policies such as the Clean Air Act and restrictions on alcohol and junk food advertising.

"The Greens have also prioritised mental health, committing $1.1 billion to boost services around Australia, with a major focus on rural and regional areas.

"The Greens will protect Medicare Locals and the National Preventive Health Agency from the irresponsible and short sighted cuts an Abbott government would impose.

"The Greens' $9 billion national health package has been fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and is fully funded."

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