The Albanese Labor Government is setting a dangerous precedent of announcement first, consultation later.
First, the Government ripped desperately needed GPs out of rural and regional Australia by changing the Distribution Priority Areas for overseas-trained doctors, without consulting with any rural and regional communities who were seriously impacted by this decision.
Then, they left more than 15,000 Australians with Type 1 Diabetes stranded when they decided, without consultation with the sector, to schedule the lifesaving and fast-acting insulin Fiasp for removal from the PBS.
Over the past month, we have seen how their refusal to listen to the concerns of the aged care sector is resulting in homes being forced to close, because the Government pushed on with their decision to expedite staffing requirements in the middle of a workforce crisis.
We also have serious concerns that the Government failed to consult with peak mental health bodies before deciding to rip away critical support from the 240,000 Australians who were relying on the additional 10 Medicare-funded psychology sessions they cut in January.
Now, in the days following the Federal Budget, a departmental letter has caught out the Labor Government, once again, in their failure to undertake proper consultation on their policies.
The letter has revealed that the impact of the Albanese Labour Government’s change to 60-day dispensing for some medicines was not properly assessed to the standard of ‘good practice’.
The Government’s impact analysis failed to meet the criteria for good practice due to a lack of public consultation, particularly on the potential impacts ‘for small businesses and pharmacies in rural and remote areas.’
It was also found to be lacking a detailed evaluation plan outlining how they are going to monitor the impact of this policy on community pharmacies once it is implemented.
It is astounding that the Labor Government has announced this significant health policy without undertaking proper consultation on the impacts it could have on community pharmacies across Australia.
‘This is particularly worrying for small businesses and pharmacies in rural and remote areas, who we know could be impacted the worst by ill-considered policy from this government,’ Senator Ruston said.
‘Once again, the Labor Government is pursuing on-the-run policy that is just for the headlines, instead of it being developing through proper consultation with the stakeholders it will impact.’
This revelation confirms the clear pattern of the Albanese Labor Government’s approach to policy on health and aged care.
The Albanese Labor Government is holding the Australian public and the Parliament in contempt as they continue to ignore best practice and push on with ill-consulted policy that is all for the headlines.