Australians deserve a world class health system with access to services provided by highly-skilled doctors, nurses and allied health professions.
This must be underpinned by a strong and sustainable Medicare.
Last month I organised a phone hook-up between three local doctors and two nurse practitioners, and the Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash so that our health professional could directly tell the Government about the health needs of our community.
Over the coming months, the new Health Minister Sussan Ley, who has already visited Page, will be engaging in a wide-ranging consultation on the ground with doctors and the community across the country in order to come up with sensible options to deliver appropriate Medicare reforms.
These consultations will be guided by four principles:
- Protecting Medicare for the long-tem;
- Ensuring bulk billing remains for vulnerable and concessional patients
- Maintaining high-quality care and treatment for all Australians and
- Ensuring that those who have the means to do so make a modest contribution to the cost of their care.
Like our local health services, I am committed to protecting Medicare and ensuring that it continues to provide access to high-quality health care.
The Nightingales on the home stretch.
I would like to congratulate the Lismore Base Hospital Auxiliary and the hospital's staff for their time and effort in organising its Fair Day late last year.
This is one of the Auxiliary's biggest fundraisers of the year and the money is used to pay for medical equipment. I was happy to compete in the bed race with "The Nightingales". We were at very long odds but made the semis - to everyone's surprise, including our own.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Edna Fuller who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, in part for her dedicated work as the president of the Casino and District Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
Hospital auxiliaries across the North Coast play a crucial role in fundraising and I thank all of their members for their hard work for our community.