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Nothing “local” about Abbott’s Primary Healthcare Networks

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Abbott Government’s plan to replace 61 Medicare Locals with 30 Primary Healthcare Networks was a backward step.

“The value of Medicare locals is that they helped to coordinate health services in a unique way so that they cater for local needs,” said Senator Di Natale, Deputy Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Health.

“Replacing 61 Medicare Locals with 30 larger Primary Healthcare Networks undermines the capacity for local coordination.

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Medicinal cannabis trial no substitute for meaningful reform: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson and Co-convenor of the Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that a medicinal cannabis trial falls short of the reform we need.

“I welcome the fact that every government in the country now recognises that we need to change our approach to medicinal cannabis but a trial alone is not enough,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP.

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Abbott health policies will cause a world of pain hears Senate Committee

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Senate Select Committee on Health has heard damning evidence about the impacts of the Abbott Government’s health policies.

“The combination of the Abbott Government’s health policies would be nothing short of disastrous for our health system and the community,” said Senator Di Natale, Deputy Chair of the Committee.

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Medical Internship Guarantee

Senator DI NATALE (Victoria) (12:18):  I move:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern over the audit of the National Medical Intern Data Management Working Group's findings that approximately 240 Australian medical graduates will not be offered a state or territory internship position;

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Stop the Medicare Sell-Off

Senator DI NATALE:  I, and also on behalf of Senator Lazarus, move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the proposed sale of the $29 billion Medicare payment system, which will put thousands of jobs at risk and compromise service;

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Morwell – the fire is out but the health risks remain

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP and public health specialist, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Morwell coal mine fire report shows why we need a National Clean Air Act.

“The Hazelwood mine fire was a public health disaster for the people of Morwell and it should give us all cause to reflect on the way we want to generate power in this country,” said Senator Di Natale.

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No model could turn GP co-payments into good public policy

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that there are no possible changes or alternative models can turn the GP co-payment into good public policy.

“No amount of tinkering or adjustments can save this dog of a policy,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Putting a price barrier between patients and their doctors is precisely the opposite of what we should be doing.

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