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Abbott budget a sick joke

“The budget rips $20 billion out of health services over the next 6 years and the damage done to our health system will last forever,” said Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale.

“This budget puts us on the path to a US style, two-tier, under-funded health system where your credit card is more important than your Medicare care card.” 

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Government must rule out obesity fee thought bubble: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson and chair of the inquiry into the Commission of Audit, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that allowing Private Health Insurers to charge more depending on someone’s weight and other “lifestyle factors” would be a big mistake.

“Charging people more for health insurance based on risk factors like weight is a prescription for a health system that is more expensive and less fair,” said Senator Di Natale, a doctor and former public health professional.

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Time for a national drugs summit: Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform

The recently re-established Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform said that yesterday’s bleak Australian Crime Commission report into illicit drug seizures highlights the need for a national summit on drugs policy.

The cross party group, co-convened by federal Coalition, Labor and Greens parliamentarians has today written to the Prime Minister, Health Minister and Attorney General as well as their opposition counterparts to argue for a national drugs summit to be held in Canberra this year.

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Syme case shows need for euthanasia reform

"Revelations that Melbourne urologist and dying with dignity campaigner Rodney Syme assisted in the suicide of terminally ill man Steve Guest are timely and important," said Greens Health Spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale today.

"A doctor’s prime concern should be the wellbeing of their patient, right to the very end. When fear of legal repercussions is forcing doctors to say to a suffering patient, ‘sorry, I cannot help you’ there is something wrong with the system. Rodney Symes knew this and so he helped his patient anyway despite the risks to himself.

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Don’t make out-of-pocket health costs worse: Greens

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that a report from the New South Wales Bureau of Health Information confirmed that people were already staying away from the doctor because of high costs.

“The Abbott Government believes that it’s too easy for Australians to see a doctor when the opposite is true,” said Senator Di Natale.

A new report today shows that 15 per cent of people in New South Wales are putting off visits to the doctor, filling prescriptions or getting tests done because of the cost.

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National drugs summit needed to deal with prescription drug overdoses

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that we need a national summit on drugs to look at the issue of prescription drug overdoses.

“I plan to host a national summit in Canberra to look at illicit drugs, prescription drugs and emerging synthetic drugs because it makes no sense to look at any of these issues in isolation. The prescription drug and illicit drug market interact with each other so changes in one will impact on the other,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Emergency department fee is the wrong prescription: Greens

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the proposal to charge people who present to Emergency Rooms will have serious health consequences for many Australians.

“Slugging patients to see their GP or going to the hospital is a bad prescription for a problem we don't have,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Treating health problems early rather than waiting for them to become serious is good for patients and good for taxpayers. That’s why it’s important that Australians don’t have to think about whether they can afford to see their doctor.

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