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Time for a national drugs summit: Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform

The recently re-established Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform said that yesterday’s bleak Australian Crime Commission report into illicit drug seizures highlights the need for a national summit on drugs policy.

The cross party group, co-convened by federal Coalition, Labor and Greens parliamentarians has today written to the Prime Minister, Health Minister and Attorney General as well as their opposition counterparts to argue for a national drugs summit to be held in Canberra this year.

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Syme case shows need for euthanasia reform

"Revelations that Melbourne urologist and dying with dignity campaigner Rodney Syme assisted in the suicide of terminally ill man Steve Guest are timely and important," said Greens Health Spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale today.

"A doctor’s prime concern should be the wellbeing of their patient, right to the very end. When fear of legal repercussions is forcing doctors to say to a suffering patient, ‘sorry, I cannot help you’ there is something wrong with the system. Rodney Symes knew this and so he helped his patient anyway despite the risks to himself.

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Co-payments beginning of end of Medicare: Bandt

Adam Bandt 22 Apr 2014

Greens Acting Leader Adam Bandt says the Greens will fight any government move to Medicare co-payments.

"If these reports of Tony Abbott's intentions are true, it is the beginning of the end of Medicare as we know it," Mr Bandt said today.

"Tony Abbott is leading us down the road to a US-style health system, where the quality of healthcare you get depends on your bank balance."

"Your Medicare card should be enough to see a GP - you shouldn't need a credit card as well."

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Don’t make out-of-pocket health costs worse: Greens

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that a report from the New South Wales Bureau of Health Information confirmed that people were already staying away from the doctor because of high costs.

“The Abbott Government believes that it’s too easy for Australians to see a doctor when the opposite is true,” said Senator Di Natale.

A new report today shows that 15 per cent of people in New South Wales are putting off visits to the doctor, filling prescriptions or getting tests done because of the cost.

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National drugs summit needed to deal with prescription drug overdoses

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that we need a national summit on drugs to look at the issue of prescription drug overdoses.

“I plan to host a national summit in Canberra to look at illicit drugs, prescription drugs and emerging synthetic drugs because it makes no sense to look at any of these issues in isolation. The prescription drug and illicit drug market interact with each other so changes in one will impact on the other,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Emergency department fee is the wrong prescription: Greens

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the proposal to charge people who present to Emergency Rooms will have serious health consequences for many Australians.

“Slugging patients to see their GP or going to the hospital is a bad prescription for a problem we don't have,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Treating health problems early rather than waiting for them to become serious is good for patients and good for taxpayers. That’s why it’s important that Australians don’t have to think about whether they can afford to see their doctor.

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Invest proceeds of Medibank sale into health care: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that it was no surprise that this government's version of economic reform was simply to flog off public assets.

“The sale of Medicare Private simply to deal with an invented budget emergency is lazy and short sighted,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Coalition governments seem to sing from the same song book. They make a song and dance about a budget crisis which they use as a prop to slash funding to services and sell off public assets to their mates in the big end of town.

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Greens will block plan to tear down Medicare

News reports today indicate that the Abbott Government has a secret plan to slash bulk-billing and increase the cost of medicines.

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Greens will block any attempt to tear down Medicare in the Senate.

“The Abbott Government is determined to tear down Medicare no matter the cost,” said Senator Di Natale.

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