Sunday, January 18, 2015

It Seems Others Agree With Me That Mr Dutton Was A Dud Health Minister.

Just after the Pre-Christmas Cabinet Re-Shuffle I gave Mr Dutton an F- for his performance in E-Health.
Here is the link:
It seem others also were not all that impressed.
From the Australian Doctor Magazine we have this

Who do doctors think was the worst health minister?

12 January, 2015 Paul Smith
Peter Dutton can speak of one major achievement — being named worst federal health minister of the past 35 years by Australian Doctor readers.
More than 1070 readers took part in the poll last week, with Mr Dutton picking up 46% of the vote.
The former health minister, who attempted to sell the $7 co-payment plan, then said it was being ditched before announcing he would cut $3.5 billion in Medicare funding for GP care, came out top from a list of all the previous ministers since Neal Blewett.
Last month, Mr Dutton was appointed Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
…..
Question: Who has been the worst federal health minister in recent memory? (n=1077)
Federal minister
Party 
Vote (%)
Peter Dutton
LNP
46
Tanya Plibersek
ALP
8
Nicola Roxon
ALP
17
Tony Abbott
LNP
13
Kay Patterson 
LNP
1
Dr Michael Wooldridge
LNP
7
Carmen Lawrence
ALP
2
Graham Richardson
ALP
1
Brian Howe
ALP
1
Neal Blewett
ALP
4
 The full article is here:
There was a similar report here:

Doctors vote Dutton worst minister in 35 years

13 January, 2015 Clifford Fram and AAP
Peter Dutton is the worst health minister in 35 years, according to a poll of almost 1100 doctors conducted by Australian Doctor, a sister publication of 6minutes.
Mr Dutton took on the health portfolio after the 2013 federal election but was moved to immigration and border protection in last month's ministerial reshuffle, when Sussan Ley became health minister.
Dutton  was voted worst by 46% of respondents, followed by Nicola Roxon (17%) and Tony Abbott (13%). Click here to read the full list.
“If nothing else the poll results show that Mr Dutton rubbed up people the wrong way,” says Australian Doctor’s deputy editor, Paul Smith. “There is a lot of anger at the way the cuts he announced target general practice funding alone. Most people recognise that the real cost pressures on Medicare are largely in the hospital system.
More here:
There was commentary associated:

Dutton’s legacy: the anti-health minister

12 January, 2015 Paul Smith
So Peter Dutton has gone.
The week before Christmas came the media release announcing Tony Abbott’s cabinet reboot and with it, a new office for Mr Dutton in the immigration department.
Mr Dutton leaves behind many questions, among them whether he was Australia's worst federal health minister.
There may be candidates whose efforts in pursuit of the dishonour go too far back in time, or whose tenure was too short. But Mr Dutton was around long enough — just over a year — to at least make a claim.
For many, he will stand as an anti-health minister, someone intent on loyally serving nothing but the narrowest of party interests, rather than taking on the laborious task of fixing the dysfunctions of the health system.
The clues were there during his time as Opposition health spokesperson. He rarely troubled the democratic process by putting a parliamentary questions to the health minister of the day — whether that was Nicola Roxon or Tanya Plibersek.
This was meant to be the period of great reform.
Such dormancy on the floor of the house eventually became a running joke around the corridors of Canberra. How was he filling his days?
It is true that he did turn up on the health conference circuit. His appearances at the AMA's annual meetings were frequent. He would talk about the sanctity of the doctor—patient relationship and the need to reduce red tape — soothing words unlikely to wake delegates from their slumbers.
But his flirtations with the national debate extended little further than an attack on GP super clinics as a $650 million waste of money (which must have felt like shooting fish in a barrel) and a newsworthy declaration (later muddied to the point of complete obfuscation) to sink Medicare Locals.
Lots more here:
So it seems his general performance in Health rather matched the level of performance in E-Health and interestingly was way worse than Mr Abbott. The negative vote was pretty high.
Interestingly the other minister who was much disliked was the one who gave us the PCEHR - Ms Roxon. I agree with this assessment and said so in this blog:
It seems the political stripe does not really matter - as always it is simply competence and the ability to see through the spin from the Department of Health Bureaucrats.
I really hope the new incumbent has better luck and is able to keep those bureaucrats under control! 
David.

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