Home | Industry & Reform | Health professionals welcome new minister

Health professionals welcome new minister

Tanya Plibersek will be sworn in as federal minister for health in Sydney tomorrow.

Nurses and doctors have welcomed incoming health minister, Tanya Plibersek, who was elevated to cabinet in yesterday’s ministerial reshuffle.

Nicola Roxon, who leaves the health portfolio after four years as minister, has been appointed as Australia’s first female Attorney-General.

Roxon said she would continue her fight against big tobacco in her capacity as the nation's top lawmaker. A spokesperson for the outgoing health minister, said Roxon wrapped up her health duties on Wednesday.

The Australian Nursing Federation welcomed the appointment. ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas said she looked forward to working with minister Plibersek and would be seeking a meeting with the new minister as a matter of urgency.

The nurses union also thanked Nicola Roxon for her role in delivering important health reform, particularly the granting of nurse practitioners and eligible midwives access to the MBS and PBS subsidies.

"This was a long-overdue acknowledgment of the important role the nursing and midwifery workforce plays in Australia’s health care system and we thank Minister Roxon for recognising the work of nurses and midwives by giving them these additional powers,” Thomas said in a statement.

"Other major reforms overseen by Minister Roxon were the historic $175 billion worth of funding over the next 20 years to public health, progress on an electronic health records system and the government's ongoing fight against smoking, including plain packaging of tobacco," she said.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that Plibersek’s ministerial experience in housing, human services, and the status of women, along with her commitment to social equity and social justice, made her well equipped to take on the demands and challenges of the health portfolio.

“The AMA looks forward to a close working relationship with the new minister, but there is still a lot of work to do in bedding down the government’s health reforms, and challenges remain in areas such as primary care, aged care, mental health and dental care,” Hambleton said.

In the reshuffle mental health and ageing minister, Mark Butler retained his position but will join cabinet. He will also take on social inclusion responsibilities.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *