Meeting with AMA President Michael Gannon – Opening Remarks

Meeting with AMA President Michael Gannon – Opening Remarks

LEY: I know it’s not your first time in this office but welcome to the new term of Government and I’m absolutely delighted that you and I will be spending time talking about what interests both of us the most, which is patient care, quality patient care, and something that I always saymaking sure the health dollar falls as closely to the patient as possible.

GANNON: Congratulations on your re-election and your reappointments and I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with you, where there’s plenty of common ground and plenty to be achieved in the next three years.

 LEY: There is and I know that I will really value the relationship that I will have, and that Government will have, with you and all of your members, because I recognise as I travel the country and, I’m getting out of Canberra as soon as I can to do exactly that, I will meet people who work in practices, in clinics, in hospitals, and in the community and the information they give me is vital as we form policy, so it’s terrific the relationship that you and I have at this level will be backed up by so many conversations around Australia between Government, representatives and your members.  

GANNON: Well we won’t always agree and I’ve said in the past in different forums I think when Government doesn’t talk to doctors and doctors don’t talk to Government then it’s patients that suffer, so I welcome you getting out and speaking to patients, speaking to my members and speaking to other important players in the health sector. We can be really positive about it.

LEY: We won’t always agree and interestingly I don’t always think we will always agree in this place over the next term, so in having discussions that I’m shortly going to commence with the cross bench in the new incoming Senate there will be lots of explanations, listening and understanding where their point of view in health care is too so I really believe this Government is going to be collaborative, consultative, close to the people and I’m certainly going to reflect that in health policy. And we have listened to feedback. We’ve listened to feedback during the election campaign, as I’ve talked to practitioners in the last week I’ve listened to feedback so we’ve got a really solid foundation on which to build this relationship and exciting policy for the future.

GANNON: If we didn’t already know it, I think that the Australian people see what they get from GPs and public hospitals is very important to them and there will be opportunities, and there will be times when you and I might not agree and the Senate might disagree but that’s a challenge for all of us, and I look forward to that role as well; of talking about health policy to the cross bench if I get that opportunity to talk to them and give them information. They’ve got big decisions to make as well.

 LEY: Well we’re certainly going to set out to make it easier for them. It’s crazy coming into this place with so much to get your head around. I remember how I felt as a new Member of Parliament so we will set up some conversations where they can meet you, they can meet us, they meet stakeholders and bring them all together.  

GANNON: They’re good opportunities and it’s important we have a positive relationship, it’s important that we agree to disagree on things but we recognise areas for reform. We can’t keep going down the road we’re going, there’s things that need to change and if we can agree on things hopefully that will be good for patients all around Australia.

LEY: Well I really look forward to it. Thank you.