Yesterday the patsies on Tony Abbott’s backbench voted to increase the cost of medicines by $1.3 billion. Not a single member of the Liberal or National Party stood up to defend Indigenous communities against this impost.
Labor requested the Minister for Health answer a series of questions on how the Bill would affect the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and he could not answer a single one.
"Peter Dutton didn’t even bother to show up to the consideration in detail of his first budget bill and refused to answer questions put to him about the impact his $1.3 billion medicines hike will have on Australians, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians ,’ Catherine King, Shadow Minister for Health said.
“Australia’s most ineffective Health Minister would rather hide away from scrutiny, and it just shows the utter contempt he has for the Australian people when it comes to their healthcare.”
“The Minister for Health failed to answer questions regarding the impact of the PBS co-payments on Aboriginal controlled health organisations and the provision of section 100 drugs, “ Warren Snowden, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs said.
“It is already clear that as a result of the work of the COAG Reform Council Report released in June, that 36.4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people delayed or didn’t fill their prescriptions due to cost.” Mr Snowdon said
“This means of course that the most vulnerable and at risk members of our community are not getting access to the medications that they require at potentially great cost to their health outcomes and life expectancy.
“The Prime Minister has laid claim to being the Prime Minster for Indigenous Australians, yet his Health Minister was either unprepared or just refused to respond to these perfectly reasonable questions.
“One thing is abundantly clear though – the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians will be worse as a direct result of this measure,” Mr Snowdon said.
When it comes to healthcare, Australians are being let down by the most uncompassionate government since Federation, led by the most ineffective health minister Australia has ever had.