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Medicinal cannabis bill to be introduced today

Australian Greens health spokesperson and Co-convenor of the Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that he was pleased to join with Senate colleagues from across the political spectrum to introduce a bill that will make medicinal cannabis available for people who need it.

“This bill is about giving people access to medicine that provides relief from severe pain and suffering,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP.

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Committee calls for conscience vote on Dying with Dignity

The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has today tabled its final report into an exposure draft of federal dying with dignity legislation. The bill was drafted and introduced by Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Senator Richard Di Natale.

“The most significant thing to come out of this report is the recommendation from all committee members for a conscience vote,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The Prime Minister and Labor must now confirm that they will grant a conscience vote on this issue.

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Australia not ready for Ebola epidemic

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson and former public health professional, Dr Richard Di Natale, today questioned the Federal Government’s Chief Health Officer about what training that has been provided to Australian health personnel that could be deployed to combat Ebola in our region.

“The Prime Minister has flown to Papua New Guinea to discuss preparations should Ebola reach our region however this morning we have learned that Australia’s health personnel have not yet received the specific training required for deployment in the field,” said Senator Di Natale.

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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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