The Abbott government will ask a “citizens assembly” for advice on reforming medicare under a key part of the Coalition’s new health policy announced by the prime minister today and to be rescinded by the health minister tomorrow.
The (un)Australian understands that the government will set up a panel of health experts to advise the government on Medicare. The panel will then be paired with a citizens assembly consisting of 100-200 volunteers who will gauge community sentiment on reforming Medicare and pass its findings back on to the government.
The announcement comes five days after the government decided to shelve its proposed changes to the Medicare rebate, and six days after the government announced its proposed changes to the Medicare rebate.
In announcing the new policy, Prime Minister Abbott identified a need to “push the reset button on health policy” and conceded that “A few barnacles need to be scraped off the ship before we can confidently proceed at full speed.”
Labor’s shadow minister for Health Catherine King has declined to comment, telling The (un)Australian that she will put out a full statement if and when the policy has survived a whole week.
Before today’s announcement the government was on its third consecutive day without pressing the recent button. It’s best record to date was twenty four.