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Catholic Health says Coalition health initiatives don't go far enough

The health initiatives outlined by the Coalition yesterday are worthwhile, but avoid some crucial areas of concern to the Australian community, according to Catholic Health Australia Chief Executive Officer Francis Sullivan.

CHA has called for, and welcomes the Coalition's investment in palliative care and differential rebates for GPs in outer lying areas.

"However it is most concerning that CHA's estimates of the need for an extra $30 million a year for palliative care services is at best, only met by half in this policy," Mr Sullivan said. "It is essential that, along with differential rebates for GPs, there is an increase in the percentage of doctors bulk billing families and low income people."

He described the omission of new funding for public hospitals "glaring" and "alarming", adding that it reveals an unbalanced policy unresponsive to community need.

Meanwhile Mr Sullivan also commented on yesterday's debate between Jenny Macklin and Michael Wooldridge, who occupy the health portfolio for Labor and the Coalition respectively.

"Predictably, the debate saw tax cuts favoured by the Coalition and investments into health and aged care by Labor," he said. "Tax cuts might win votes from middle Australia, but they won't buy better health and aged care services for the people who need them most."

Catholic Health Australia