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Transcript 16961

Prime Minister Minister for Health and Ageing Reforming health for all Australians Brisbane 7 December 2009

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 07/12/2009

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 16961

Today the Prime Minister met with Premiers and Chief Ministers to discuss future directions for national health reform.

The Australian health system faces huge pressures, including:

* An ageing population

* A growing chronic disease burden

* Health workforce shortages

* Escalating costs of medicines and medical technology.

As a result of these combined pressures, the health system has reached a tipping point.

That is why the Australian Government is undertaking the most significant health reforms since the introduction of Medicare.

In developing the final shape of those reforms, the Government has undertaken comprehensive consultation with health professionals, industry representatives and members of the public.

Across Australia, there have been 76 health consultations.

Over 150,000 people have visited the www.yourhealth.gov.au website.

This feedback has been critical in shaping the Government's approach to health reform.

Today's Coalition of Australian Governments meeting was an opportunity for the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers to frankly discuss what they see as the challenges facing our health system, and how health reform can best be achieved.

It was agreed that the Prime Minister will correspond with Premiers and Chief Ministers by the end of December 2009, recommending a decision-making process on long term health and hospital reform.

The Commonwealth's intention consistent with this process is to put specific proposals to the States and Territories in the first half of 2010.

The Rudd Government is committed to nationwide health reform and has already taken action to help relieve some of the pressure that has built up in the health system after nearly twelve years of neglect.

The initiatives already taken by the Rudd Government include:

* increasing health and hospitals funding by 50% to a record $64 billion

* $600 million injection to cut elective surgery waiting times

* more funds to train much needed doctors and nurses

* $3.2 billion for additional health infrastructure.

Every family in Australia depends on our health system. That is why we must get this right for the future.

Today's COAG meeting was an important step in the process of reforming Australia's health system, to make sure that families can get the health care they need, when they need it.

Transcript 16961