Stability in the health portfolio a good sign

Stability in the health portfolio a good sign

17 September 2013

The AML Alliance has welcomed the decision by Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott to appoint Peter Dutton to the position of Minister for Health.

AML Alliance Chair, Dr Arn Sprogis said the continuity in the appointment of Mr Dutton to the health portfolio makes a difference to the business of health across the country, recognising his understanding of the key issues and challenges facing the health sector.

Its clear the Coalition Government is committed to maintaining the momentum in primary health care with general practice remaining as the cornerstone of the primary health care sector, Dr Sprogis said.

As the peak body for the 61 Medicare Locals across the country, the AML Alliance is keen to work constructively with the Coalition Government in its review of Medicare Locals and demonstrate their effectiveness in working with stakeholders in local service planning and coordination, and ultimately supporting local communities to determine their own health care needs.

Our members are equally committed to ensuring services are being delivered at the frontline and we are confident that once the review of Medicare Locals is completed, the Coalition Government will recognise that the infrastructure is right, the services are being delivered and the productivity gains being made are helping to keep people well and out of hospital, Dr Sprogis said.

We also welcome the appointment of Senator Fiona Nash to the Health portfolio as Assistant Minister for Health. As a Senator based in rural Australia Fiona Nashs understanding of issues affecting people in rural and remote communities will be an asset to the Health portfolio. Senator Nashs interest in equity of access to health services taps right into what Medicare Locals are working at delivering across Australia. We also welcome Senator Nigel Scullion who has been appointed Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the decision to move this portfolio into Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Its pleasing to see the Federal Government has continued to recognise the importance of mental health and that it remains within Cabinet and as part of Mr Duttons portfolio.

The Medicare Local sector looks forward to working with the new Government to deliver the broad range of health and social services across portfolios to make sure people do not fall through the gaps in health and social care, Dr Sprogis said.