National cabinet to discuss Medicare, hospital funding; robo-debt inquiry continues

As regular readers of this blog will know, national cabinet is meeting at 9am in Canberra.

State and territory leaders are due to start arriving in the next little while and we’ll be sure to bring you any comments they make before the meeting.

In the meantime, the Grattan Institute’s Professor Stephen Duckett – a member of the government’s strengthening Medicare taskforce – was on Radio National to talk about what kind of reforms are needed.

Professor Stephen Duckett.Credit:Jeremy Piper

He said the $250 million in funding flagged by Labor during the federal election campaign isn’t enough to fix Australia’s healthcare system.

Host Patricia Karvelas wanted to know: How much, then, is actually needed?

Here was Duckett’s response:

Well, the College of GPs and the AMA say they want $2 billion tomorrow. Obviously, that’s not going to happen. But I think we are talking about a billion or more going into the primary healthcare system over time.

I think it will take a couple of years for the foundations to be established. So maybe going into the next election the government ought to be making a commitment to put a lot more money into the system.

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