Amidst the recent political disruptions, Health Minister Greg Hunt weighed in behind prime ministerial challenger Peter Dutton, whom a doctors’ poll once described as the worst health minister in 35 years, yet retained his portfolio in the new Coalition cabinet.
Mr Hunt’s reappointment was announced by incoming PM Scott Morrison on 26 August, following the Liberal Party’s overthrow of leader Malcolm Turnbull. Aboriginal man Ken Wyatt AM continues as Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.
Medicare co-payments were the controversial topic in the portfolio until the emergence of the MyHealth Record, which attracted widespread criticism on the basis that patient records might be accessed by unapproved parties, including police.
Following crisis talks with the AMA Mr Hunt confirmed that the My Health Record Act would be redrafted to ensure "no record can be released to police or government agencies, for any purpose, without a court order."
Another former Health Minister is Tony Abbott, widely seen as driving the leadership push against Mr Turnbull, who was also criticized for his performance in the portfolio. The Health ministry is often portrayed as a poisoned chalice due to rising health care costs resulting from Australia’s ageing population and mounting chronic disease incidence – we’re living longer but sicker - and increasingly expensive health technologies, amongst other factors.