Abbott’s health

While aspiring to be prime minister Tony Abbott promised:

The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has reiterated that if elected he wants to secure the jobs of today and build the jobs of tomorrow. He’s told AM there will be no cuts to education, health or pensions, and that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s talk of a $70 billion black hole will be proved wrong. The Coalition is preparing to outline how it intends to balance the budget should it win on Saturday.

The above pledge made on the 5th September must have been one of the most short-lived in political history, as by the 22nd September, and as reported by

The Coalition will also begin unwinding key “nanny state” agencies such as the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, established to lead the national fight against obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco use . . .

Two major health agencies – the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the year-old National Health Performance Authority – are under review and could have their combined budgets – of around $40 million a year – slashed.

Create jobs?  Protect the health of the nation? Nanny state?  Let’s not forget the obligatory derogatory put-down, just for emphasis.  It could of course be argued that these are not cuts to health per se, just the services aligned to health such as preventative care.  It gets worse.

27th November via the Sydney Morning Herald:

One of the nation’s oldest health organisations has been placed in voluntary administration after its funding was cut by the government.

The Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia, which has operated since 1966, learned on Monday its funding would cease immediately.

President of the council’s board, former Liberal MP Mal Washer, said the decision was a ”devastating blow” that would undermine years of work.

There is yet more devastation for the health of Australia, with details going mostly under-reported such as:

The loss of funding for Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE’s $63million Health and Social Wellbeing Learning Precinct means the region will miss out on more than 300 job opportunities.

Local member, Mal Brough of course blamed Labor.

A major blow to public health followed which brings us to the precise lie, that it is not just organisations which provide preventative care and education, but that health has been cut, and cut directly to public hospitals.  It was a dire warning from some that one should look at Tony Abbott’s stint as Health Minister to note what his likely attitude towards health would be.  We have all read about the $1 billion dollars gutted from public health, but there is also this:

He (Abbott) saw health as a matter of individual choice, and ill-health in medical terms around the prevention and cure of particular diseases.

Abbott is therefore worse than anticipated, not only clearly perceiving things such as alcohol and drug prevention as “luxuries” Australia cannot afford, but has cut precisely into public health, where it is clear that lives will be put at risk:

NSW will miss out on more than $150 million in funding for vital health services that has been cut by the federal government.

“This is bad news for public hospital patients” 

People living in western Sydney will be hardest hit by the cuts, with Westmead Hospital losing $100 million over three years. The Children’s Medical Research Institute and the Westmead Millennium Institute will also lose tens of millions of dollars.

It is an expectation that in wealthy country such as Australia, that an obligation of any government would include to “tackle chronic diseases, provide faster access to newly approved medicines, invest in Australia’s medical workforce and prepare the health system for the demographic changes ahead“.  Perhaps included might be “a four-fold increase in medical research funding“.  The Millennium Institute, is one of the largest medical research institutes in Australia working on cancer and leukemia research has had $12 million slashed from it’s funding.

Note:  the above quote is  from The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System will . . . The Coalition will?  It seems that the Coalition won’t.

61 comments on “Abbott’s health

  1. Sadly Voyager this will be so, one thing that you’re unlikely to see from Abbott is any promotion of any talent. Howard was called Old Araldyte, now it seems that we have a whole front bench of them. 😉

  2. Thats not saying that some of them shouldn’t have been replaced for setting an example of rorting travel claims that the rest of us can only aspire to.

  3. Seriously ?? After reading all that, all you want to hear is something good about TA ??

    Thinking bout it, is there really any good that he has done since he has been elected ??

    “Ignorance is bliss”

  4. I can scarcely credit what’s going on. It’s as if this rabble is determined to destroy every good thing in our society. I truly despair of the next three years: but more do I despair of the fact that there are Australians out there who support the Coalition with fervour.

  5. voyager are u suffering from buyers remorse,

    I woke up this morning feeling sick,,, not a virus,,, no sick of lies,, the indigenous ppl how could they have believed he said would spend first week if elected with them, common sense should or rang alarm bells its like some people spell bound what was it pop star thing for some.? some days I say I will hide from from all this may be they are wise ppl who take no interest, till they lose everything like the Holden employees then see him hobnobbing with wealthy ppl , its all very sick an un aust, my fervent hope is the tories make them self unelectable for decades or even dissolve to no bodies like they are try to do to us, but why,, do this group of ppl seem to hate us al so much,, any one understand, for example if they think business is everything,, the ppl have NO money business is no more, that called recession and then depression,, so business lose in the end, any one understand I don’t
    the ghost of xmas past please take them on tour or the needy and make them part of that needy for just 24 hours, or more or for ever.

  6. Can anyone explain to me how the deficit has blown out to 47Billion with all these slashes going on?


  7. Cassilva, according to Fairfax cuts are needed because of loss of revenue coming from the deletion of the mining tax and to pay for Abbott’s extraordinarily generous PPL, $75,000 for millionaire mummies means that cuts have to be made.

  8. gift to the RBA – 8.8 billion
    cutting the carbon tax – 13 billion
    cutting the mining tax – 6 billion
    direct action – 3 billion
    PPL – 22 billion
    allowing the FBT tax rorts – 1.8 billion
    removing the means test on the Private Health Insurance Rebate – $2.4 billion
    removing the tax on annual superannuation payments of over $100,000 – 313 million

  9. abbott must be the only real psycho that’s as mad as a cut snake that hasn’t been locked up for his own good, I think ALL pollies should have to take a psycho test each year, after all, pilots have to take them, WHY NOT pollies ?????

  10. Voyager i find your comment bordering on delusional-no changes to a hate filled Ministry-yeah i,m real thankful for that at Christmas time 100 days after the most disastrous election result in Australia’s history!!!!

  11. Far too easy to lead the LNP. They should subject their leaders to more scrutiny. (Mad and psycho people shouldn’t apply ) Abbott just scraped in by ONE vote (included Slipper’s vote). Never been tested since. Not many of them present as an alternative. ( I would say NONE actually) Turnbull is no better really and they HATE him. I can’t work out why he is in the Parliament. The NP dud their constituents by being dragged along with the Lieberals for the sake of “UNITY” (imagined) The only thing they have in common is a hatred of unions and Labor

  12. Will Abbott be accused of directly killing people his cuts to health and vital health services will cause, let alone the pain and suffering, just as Rudd was accused by the MSM and Abbott for directly causing four deaths in the HIP program?

    Of course Abbott won’t be held to account by the utter right wing hypocrites and the MSM, it will be up to the 5th to ensure that happens.

  13. Cassilva 48: This is the great lie! There is no deficit ‘blow-out’ in fact there is no deficit! I know that this is hard to believe in the face of all that you’ve read and heard but it is quite simply true. Deficit is another way of keeping track of how much currency the government has created – and remember that governments who have sovereignty over their own currency such as Australia literally create this out of thin air! Nor do ‘deficits’ have to be repaid due to the fact that governments cant default on their own repayments. The ‘cuts’ which Carol Taylor refers to are due to the tax concessions given to the mining and other industries at the expense of public services.
    Graeme Rust: Jesus wept! Are you kidding??? If they gave pollies a psycho test every year there wouldn’t be a politician of either side left standing! Remember, insanity isn’t an impediment to entering politics, it’s an advantage! 🙂 🙂

  14. Australia is such a bad place , even worse under Abbott according to all
    you Sludges at CW.
    Do yourselves a favour for 2014 , pack up and piss off.
    Find a better place , undoubtedly within a short time you will whinging just as much.
    It will make Australia a better and happier place..

  15. I’m sick of hearing The LABOR bashing LNP coalition government blaming the previous government of its current woes … Put simply; cut spending in essential areas to appease the wealthy with added benefits … It’s a typical Toryist ideal that will eventually ruin Australia’s way of life that we were enjoying …

  16. You really love proving us right don’t you Voyager.

    Just keep making desperate inane posts like your last mindless rave and you will keep proving Abbott is a complete took and this government a total failure.

  17. We can go further throw your own rant back at you.

    If Australia was such a terrible place under Labor then why didn’t you and the rest of the right wingers who were constantly moaning and groaning about them in a huge dummy spit leave Australia?

  18. The troll is probably pissed off, as the promised jackboots and spliffy uniform haven’t materialised yet.
    Sucked in again 🙄


    There was little in the way of answers from Scott Morrison at the weekly Operation Sovereign Borders briefing to discuss the ‘letter of concern’ written by 15 doctors that details medical norms applied to detainees on Christmas Islands.

    Once again, a minister that canot be bothered to read reports.

  20. Yes, I do believe that Abbott will prove the nest thing that has ever happened for Labor, by winning the last election.

    ……..Dear Comrades,

    Back before the election I wrote a piece explaining the looming Abbott victory was possibly the best thing for the Left in Australia.

    Part of my argument was that if Labor had pulled off a skin-of-the-teeth victory they’d have been forced further to the Right, there’d have been even more desperate finagling of independent support and virulent in-fighting as the party imploded, and the only thing that could possibly give the party a short, sharp reminder of its origins as the party of the people would be a kick back to opposition.

    Since then, things have been, let’s be honest, ghastly.

    We’ve seen more re.

    What will the next hundred days bring.


  21. How crap the fiberals must be. Even with among the most biased media on earth behind them they are behind in the polls.

  22. Breaking News . Tony Abbott and Julia Bishop are Going to Thailand and are going to BAN Kock something else to stop us Peasants enjoying Life,And Abbot is putting out his new Book, A real stocking filler “,How to tell Lies and do sommersaults at the same time” Ghost written by Peta of course, Pyneoccio is going to be a Compere on the Tv programme ” Would I lie to you “,Warren whatshisname is going into the Movies “The Invisible Man ” And Scott Moronison doing a guest Appearance on ” Getaway”, I do hope Scooty wont allow Tony back in to OZ

  23. Is this the world one wants.?

    Does this make sense?


  24. This is the eighth enquiry. abc keep calling it the “FAILED Pink batts scheme. I doubt that is an accurate definition. More muck raking from a scungy mob with nothing good to offer. So on with the witch hunts. Millions of dollars wasted by the Lying Nasty Party.

  25. Abbott said he wants to be the “infrastructure PM”.

    Putting aside for a moment the likelihood that he is lying, SHOULD he live up to this promise AND anyone working on his projects hurts even so little as a fingernail, expect Labor to haul him before a Royal Commission next time they come to government.

  26. he Commissioner has u til the 30 th June next year. 86 warrants issued.

    ABC 24 keeps calling it “this botched scheme”.

    How come.

    We already know who is responsible for the deaths. The firms that hired the men.

  27. No expense spared when witch hunts, character assassinations or locking down prisoners in Qld and such are concerned
    . They get their priorities RIGHT…… NO!! I wonder how long it will take for this sort of behaviour to backfire on them? You can’t fool ALL of the people ALL of the time, abbott and they would really have to be stupid to swallow your pathetic spiel, for any length of time. Uncle Rupee can’t cover everything for you. You are like a starved bird, all feathers NO meat. Start sweating.. YOU will be worse than Billy Big Ears. (and we don’t hear a lot about him, do we?)

  28. This is the first of Abbott’s campaign. There is to be one into Gillard and e AWU of twenty years ago. One into Thomson and the HSU.

    All have the capability to badly backfire on him.

    One thing this government has no judgment in, is their inability to see the consquences of their actions.

  29. It’ll be interesting to see how much mileage Abbott can get out of his royal commission. Its success from his point of view is as always dependent on media co operation & this worries me. This whole thing is the media’s creation, with the ABC doing a lot of the heavy lifting when the issue was current. For that reason, since the issue’s their baby, I expect the media to go Abbott’s way. Just looking at posts here & elsewhere, Aunty’s already out with the “botched” & the “failed” memes.
    Ultimately it’ll depend on how interested people are in what’s now history of course, but narrow terms of reference will ensure the daily news reports are appropriately salacious.
    But it jogs the memory, & what days they were. Anybody anywhere who managed to rip off the Labor government enjoyed the status of a Robin Hood or a Pretty Boy Floyd. No matter how skivingly greedy & mendacious they were, if their crime could be turned into a story against Labor these bastards were ALL RIGHT!!

    Merry Christmas to the nice folks here, you know who you are.

  30. For anyone who’s bothered to read my previous post, might I suggest you go down the Pub where the noble Aguirre has at 12.58 done a post completely contradicting me. He maintains this stunt’s sheer transparency will ensure its failure. Hope he’s right.

  31. I guess what it comes down to is whether the audience can be made to believe that these workplace deaths & these alone are worth the trouble & expense of a Royal Commission & if so why.
    I’ve always felt a bit sorry for the two responsible sons who stuck with the old man & then dipped out when the Prodigal Son returned. I wonder whether the friends & families of all those other workplace victims are happy at being passed over so that yet another enquiry can be conducted into just four incidents.

  32. Oh the utter two faced hypocrisy of the right, it knows no bounds.

    Amanda Vanstone, who was mostly mute during Gillard’s term, but occasionally had a hateful word or two to say against her, wrote a piece for the Brisbane Times to ditch the hate so as to improve the debate.

    They spew it out in great bucket loads with glee at whatever is against their very narrow and flawed ideology and the weakest in society who can’t fight back, but when the tide turns they cry love, peace and look at how kind and gentle we are as compared to the others.

    They are so unbelievably full of shit and projection it’s often painful to watch and read them, so imagine how difficult and painful it must be for their supporters to stick up for them.

  33. ME, what I do not get, is where is the hate they accuse us of.

    Most seem to repeat what this government does and says.

    So, now if one criticizes policies and actions of the extreme right, that is hate.

    Sorry, I do not buy that one.

  34. BSA, I do not believe that Abbott is getting any brownie points for this one./ Yes, using the parents, is indeed a new low.

  35. Abbott and co have bought the false assumption that one can get away with anything in early days of the term.

    That people either forget, or forgive.

    What they are ignoring, it was more about getting rid of Labor. than any great love for them or their policies. I sup sect that most believed they did not have many,to worry about.

    The other thing that is occurring, is perceptions are being formed. These perceptions, once formed, as Gillard found out, are near impossible to turn about.

    They do not go away.

    The voters feel they have dealt with Rudd and Gillard, and are in the past, where they want them to stay.

    Sick of hearing about that inquiry. Why not mention, that Dutton is allowing Health Funds to put up their fees, more than they have been allowed to do, since 2007. This in spite on the rebate being returned to middle/upper income earners.

  36. Abbott’s been going on and on about the carbon price and how getting rid of it will save the average household $200pa, deliberately not mentioning the compensation they get.

    Yet today he approved the biggest private health premium increase in eight years that will add $200pa to the average family costs.

  37. Why was the announcement made yesterday, and not February as usual. Why not the minister ask questions. How is it the fault of Labor, that kept the cost down for over six years. Why no negotiation.

    So many whys.

    Seem we have had a sermon this morning from our honorable PM.

    That team he hired to make his videos needs replacing, I think. another amateurish effort. In front of his Christmas tree and flag.

  38. Health insurer nib is lifting its premiums by an average of almost eight per cent.

    Chief executive March Fitzgibbon said the 7.99 per cent increase was needed to keep up with the rising cost of providing health care.

    The insurer paid out more than $1 billion in benefits to customers in the 2012/13 financial year, up more than 10 per cent on the previous year, he said.

    The company has more than 470,000 Australian policy holders.

    ‘While every effort has been made to keep premium increases as low as possible, rising medical and health care costs as well as customer utilisation means we need to increase premiums to maintain the level of health cover and benefits our customers have come to expect,’ Mr Fitzgibbon said.

    Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton has given approval for a rise in nib’s premiums across all products by an average of 7.99 per cent, which will take effect from April 2014.

    The company said another factor in the premium hike was its risk equalisation liability, a system Mr Fitzgibbon said required all health insurers to share the costs associated with older and chronically ill Australians.

    Mr Dutton on Monday approved health insurance premium increases across the board from April. The move means the cost of health insurance will rise, on average, by $3.86 a week, based on a basic combined family policy.

  39. Yes, there true aims is still a sectret, that is being slowly revealed.

    .Peter Browne
    Their negativity and failure to reveal their true aims is corroding the Liberals, writes Peter Browne.

    Three months after an election victory might seem a strange time to be talking about a malaise within the Liberal Party. But the three months of mishaps that followed Tony Abbott’s swearing-in point to an underlying problem – the same problem that became clear after John Howard was elected prime minister in 1996. Howard and his colleagues were not forced to face up to their predicament because Australia was carried along by an international wave of economic growth and low interest rates that would last for 12 years. Abbott is unlikely to be so lucky.
    What these governments have in common became clear during the campaigns the Liberal Party and its coalition partner fought to unseat Labor. In 1996, it was all about getting rid of Paul Keating and everything he represented as prime minister. The Liberal Party’s own policies were low-key and largely innocuous. This year’s strategy was uncannily similar, even if the Lodge had a different occupant.
    What were Howard’s plans for health, education or industrial relations in 1996? It was hard to tell. And Abbott’s in 2013? Not much detail on health, a ”unity ticket” on schools, no return to Work Choices. All we knew for sure was that, Senate willing, Labor’s most contentious reforms would be ditched.
    The problem didn’t start with Howard. Malcolm Fraser’s successful campaign in 1975 was every bit as negative. Whitlam had to go, and Labor’s landmark policies – a long list, including Medibank (the forerunner of Medicare), the Schools Commission, regional development programs and a more independent foreign policy – were in the firing line. Fraser’s memoir even records cabinet earnestly discussing how, without wasting too much stationery, it could reverse Whitlam’s decision to re-label the federal government as the Australian government.
    In 1996, Howard’s new government seemed flat-footed and disoriented, as if the negativity of the campaign had been an end in itself. Once the potency of ”[Kim] Beazley’s black hole” began to wane, Howard began searching for a more positive issue to take to the next election – which turned out to be, of all things, the GST, although his embrace of gun control temporarily provided a similar anchor.
    In Abbott’s case, the early months have been characterised by confusion and controversy – most damagingly in relation to school funding, the response to the Indonesian spying leaks, and Scott Morrison’s handling of boat arrivals. In each case a negative election campaign delivered a weak mandate to the incoming government. Enough voters were sick of Labor to switch their vote, but the result was scarcely a resounding expression of confidence in the Liberal-led Coalition.
    The Gonski double-flip shows what negative campaigning means once a party is in government. In an area of public policy, education, which is taken very seriously by many voters, the Abbott ministry effectively has no policy.
    Essentially, the same can be said about health, another policy area that figures in pre-election surveys of the top two or three issues in people’s minds.
    One possible explanation for this recurring problem is that in each case the Coalition happened to be faced with an opponent -Whitlam, Keating and Gillard/Rudd – who was so inviting a target for a negative campaign that no party could have resisted. That’s certainly a factor. Labor’s performance was undoubtedly the focus of all three elections, and not only because in each case it had made significant mistakes, forced and unforced. All three had introduced popular, big-ticket reforms – including universal health insurance, the superannuation guarantee and the disability insurance scheme – which they campaigned to defend.
    But there is a more important reason why the Liberal Party takes government in this way, and the unravelling of the government’s support after the 2004 election – the election that pitted Howard against Mark Latham – gives a clue as to what it is. Howard won that election on the theme of trust, playing very effectively on uncertainties about Latham’s experience and character.
    He said scarcely anything about industrial relations reform, which would be the most controversial theme of the next three years of government – not a word in his campaign launch speech or his Press Club address, and just a brief mention, in ninth place, on a list of small business policies in the party’s election manifesto.
    Another contentious feature of the 2004-07 parliament, the full privatisation of Telstra, was not mentioned anywhere in the policy announcements, and nor were the changes to media law and the disability benefit that the government initiated soon after the election.
    That combination – a negative campaign and a failure to disclose the party’s real aims – was bad not just for the quality of government but also for the Liberals themselves. With control of the Senate, Howard pursued a program that had no expressed backing from the electorate. Three years later, he was unceremoniously ejected from the Lodge. Since September’s election, priorities that did not rate a mention during the election campaign are coming into focus.
    Andrew Robb revealed that he plans to bargain away part of Australia’s economic sovereignty by allowing overseas companies to sue the government over alleged breaches of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Labor’s electoral law reforms, inspired by the High Court’s rejection of Howard-era attempts to discourage young and mobile voters, are the target of a slow-burn campaign by the Special Minister of State and his allies. Joe Hockey – who had relentlessly targeted Labor’s debt level – has left himself as much room as possible to spend the government’s way out of trouble. And once the timing is right, the Gonski funding model will be watered down further or dumped.
    Would the Liberals have polled any less strongly if they had been more frank about their plans? It is hard to be sure. But there is a longer-term price to be paid for becoming the party that routinely says one thing in opposition and does another in office. The vote on September 7 was a vote against Labor but not necessarily a vote against many features of its program.
    It definitely was not a vote in favour of the kind of policy program that most members of Abbott’s ministry would favour: much tougher workplace laws, dramatic cuts in ABC funding, more generous tax breaks for high earners, and a return to Howard-era policies on school funding, healthcare priorities and electoral laws.
    Those policies might resonate within the Liberals’ committed core, but they are out of step with majority opinion in the electorate. And that gap will only get worse as a wave of less conservative voters progressively replaces the older voters who Howard courted so successfully. This is the dilemma the Coalition faces.

    Read more:

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