Monday, February 17, 2014
The Health Minister Mentions E-Health In Question Time - Sadly Only In Passing!
This Dorothy Dixer was asked late last week in Question Time in the House of Representatives. (Thursday 13, 2014).
Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (14:49): My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer the minister to the Mackay GP superclinic in my electorate, which was promised more than three years ago. It is still not open and is yet to see a single patient. Will the minister update the House on how the delays to the Mackay GP superclinic have affected the provision of health services in my electorate?
Mr DUTTON (Dickson—Minister for Health and Minister for Sport) (14:49): Thank you very much to the member for Capricornia, who is a great local advocate for people who need health services. When we came into government, we knew that Labor hailed the GP Super Clinics Program as one of their great successes in health, and I thought: 'Well, I should look for some examples. I should look to see the great successes of the former Minister for Health, the member for Sydney.' I was speaking to the member for Capricornia, and she happened to mention this particular instance, and I thought, 'We should get some detail.'
Do you know that, to her credit, the former health minister announced this GP superclinic on 10 August 2010? It was a $7 million commitment of taxpayers' money to this GP so-called superclinic. But the problem was that it took 643 days for the former government to put pen to paper to sign the actual funding agreement. The former health minister says that this program drove her crazy, even though it was one of her greatest achievements. Do you know that today, here we are in 2014 and we know that there has been not a patient seen, because there is no building? There are no rooms for the doctors to practise in.
An honourable member: It's a virtual clinic!
Mr DUTTON: It is a virtual clinic, as Labor would have it.
The Labor government wasted billions and billions of dollars. At a time when the Medicare levy only raises $10 billion yet the Commonwealth spends $62 billion on health; when medical services 10 years ago cost us $8.1 billion and yet today, having gone up by 124 per cent, are costing us $18 billion a year; and when we know that Alzheimer's, for argument's sake, has gone up by 170 per cent, Labor still decided to waste billions of dollars on these stupid programs when they should have been spending it on patients and the sorts of services that delivered outcomes for Australian people who deserve elective surgery and who deserve the sorts of services that they could not get under Labor.
There are many, many examples of the way in which Labor wasted money. We were elected to clean up Labor's mess. We will do it in health, and I will make sure that this government gets money back into front-line health services so that we can help the ageing in our population meet the health needs that they have in the 21st century. I will make sure that we clean up the billion-dollar mess that Labor blew on e-health. I will make sure that we clean up this superclinic program. That is because I want to make sure that we get the health needs right for the Australian people in the 21st century.
----- End Hansard Extract.
Here is the direct link.
I guess we are all left to wonder just what ‘clean up’ actually means.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Monday, February 17, 2014