Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Albanese calls national cabinet meeting, states push new PM on health system crisis

The RACGP says GPs are increasingly choosing to charge a gap fee to patients they deem able to afford it to keep their practices viable.

The college argues the rebate for 20- to 40-minute consultations should be lifted from $75.75 to $83.30 and the rebate for 40-minute-plus consultations from $111.50 to $122.65. It also wants a new, $200 rebate for consultations that last 60 minutes or longer.

Albanese acknowledged pressure on hospitals during his election campaign and promised to “sit down with premiers constructively and work these issues through”, but did not commit to higher funding for hospitals or GPs, saying his government would be “fiscally responsible”.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spoke with the prime minister soon after Labor won the election to push for a national cabinet meeting to discuss health, after former prime minister Scott Morrison refused to put hospital funding on the agenda at previous meetings.

A government spokesperson confirmed Albanese had asked his department to schedule a meeting of the national cabinet, which has not met since February, “in the coming weeks”.

Hazzard said NSW, along with all other states and territories, would continue to pursue higher Commonwealth funding for public hospitals, starting with an extension of the agreement to pay half of pandemic-related costs due to expire in September.

“All of the Labor and Liberal health ministers around the country would be very hopeful that the new federal government would understand the urgent need for additional funding to the public health sector,” he said.

Andrews said states and territories are “very much united” in their push for the new hospital agreement to lift the Commonwealth contribution to the growth in costs from 45 to 50 per cent, a change that would deliver about $20.5 billion extra over four years from 2025 .

States will also raise concerns about patients taking up hospital beds for weeks or months due to delays in accessing the NDIS or home care packages, which are funded by the Commonwealth.

Nation World News Desk
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