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Medicinal cannabis bill only the first piece of the puzzle: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale today cautiously welcomed the government's bill to establish a national licensing scheme for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis but warned that it still falls short of delivering for patients.

"The Health Minister has labelled its medicinal cannabis legislation the ‘missing piece' when it is really just the first piece of the puzzle," said Senator Di Natale.

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Health cuts a GST ruse: Turnbull must reinstate funding

In light of the AMA's latest public hospital report card, the Greens are calling on the Turnbull Government to undo Tony Abbott's damage to our healthcare system, and not by lifting the GST.

"Tony Abbott's first budget ripped $50 billion dollars from hospitals over a decade and restarted the blame game between the federal and state governments. It was a ruse to pressure the states into supporting a higher GST," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

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Government condemns patients to another Christmas as criminals

The Greens say the Turnbull Government has failed to deliver legal access to medicinal cannabis to Australians who've been expecting it by the end of this year.

"Patients need access to this medication, and they shouldn't have to break the law to get it," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

"The test of any medicinal cannabis legislation is whether it allows patients with medically approved conditions to legally and affordably access medicinal cannabis products through their doctor.

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Private health review won’t improve patient care

Australian Greens Leader Richard Di Natale says a review of private health insurance is sorely needed, but the best deal for Australians is a strong public health system.

"Health reform needs to start with properly resourcing our universal healthcare system rather than doing the bidding of the private health insurance industry," Dr Di Natale said.

"Australia risks moving toward a two-tiered, American-style system, where those who can't afford private insurance get second rate healthcare.

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Greens congratulate medical professionals standing up for children in detention

The Australian Greens have congratulated doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals for taking a strong stand against children in detention today.

"I left medicine to go into politics for the exact same reason that these health workers are making a stand today: we've got to fix the factors that make people sick. By locking up innocent people, denying them decent medical care and stripping them of all hope we are actively creating harm," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

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Government medicinal cannabis proposal only half the solution: Greens

Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale today welcomed the government’s announcement on medicinal cannabis but warned that it doesn’t deal with the biggest barriers that will prevent patients from accessing it.

“I welcome that both the Government and Opposition have finally acknowledged that medicinal cannabis reform is needed, however today’s announcement only delivers a small part of changes required,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Federal reform on medicinal cannabis needed urgently: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale today called on the federal Labor and Liberal parties to get behind his cross-party bill to establish a regulator of medicinal cannabis and pass it before the end of the year. “The bill to establish a federal regulator of medicinal cannabis has co-sponsors from all sides of politics and it’s been unanimously endorsed by a Senate Inquiry – all that’s left to do is vote on it,” said Dr Di Natale.

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Medicare review necessary and long overdue: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today welcomed the review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule but cautioned that all savings must be reinvested into health.

“The Greens don’t support reducing government spending on health by one dollar – but we do support ensuring that every dollar is spent wisely,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The government currently funds many tests and medical interventions that provide little value and expose patients to potential harms.

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