Nationals do nothing on regional health

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:48): It has been more than a year since the election, and the Nationals have comprehensively failed on regional health. The Nationals have recently published their 25 achievements after one year in government. I have had a look at this document, and regional health does not rate a mention. There is a good reason for that. They promised before the election, 'No cuts to health'. But they have cut hospital funding by over $50 billion dollars. That means people in regional hospitals all around the country will have even worse facilities and fewer doctors and nurses. They promised to provide a full-time regional health minister. Instead, we got a somebody who is excluded from all the big decisions when it comes to health. They promised to increase the Medicare rebate for regional doctors—instead, they cut it by $5, then they froze it and then they washed their hands of it. They have been lying about the cost of Medicare ever since they set foot in this place. They have said the cost is going up but in fact it has been constant for over 10 years as a proportion of government outlays. They promised to look at making the safety net fairer for medicines. Instead they have put huge holes in the safety net. I have produced a document which I seek leave to table. It will remind the Nationals of their promises and hopefully they will come in here and vote in accordance with their conscience.

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