House debates

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Bills

National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2019; Second Reading

4:32 pm

Photo of Mike FreelanderMike Freelander (Macarthur, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I'm happy to debate at any time. The figures demonstrate that there is very little effort on behalf of the National Party and the coalition government to address the disparities in health care across rural, regional and remote areas. I welcome any measures that seek to address this. Labor is always willing to work in a bipartisan fashion to achieve better healthcare outcomes for Australians, as we have done for many decades. These matters are above partisan politics.

However, I look forward to supporting this change in parliament to reduce the PBS safety net thresholds and welcome any steps towards making health care and medicines more affordable for those in need. But I must say that reducing the PBS safety net threshold by around $100 for general patients will not make a great difference in the grand scheme of things in terms of resolving the affordability issues that presently exist. I would hope that the government would place issues around affordability and access at the forefront of its mind when it comes to the— (Time expired)

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