Health Care – Speech in the House of Representatives 11/09/23
Hansard 11/09/2023 House of Representatives
Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay) (13:51): The first week of the Albanese government’s 60-day dispensing has been an absolute shambles. I’ve been informed that many prescribers lack clarity regarding the new 60-day prescribing guidelines as a result of this government’s mishandling of its implementation. Also, with medical practice software updates, many systems now default to the 60-day option due to the PBS code starting with a 1. This has led to a surge in incorrect prescriptions due to eligibility requirements, risking the safety of many elderly and sick Australians and placing undue pressures on pharmacists to ensure correct eligibility.
Adding to this confusion, the Minister for Health and Aged Care’s statements on national TV have led the public into believing all medications now are on a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal, and this has caused an immense amount of anxiety. The elderly are hesitant about stockpiling medicines, and the 60-day dispensing policy risks medication waste and misuse of PBS funds. The policy’s poor execution jeopardises the nation’s health, potentially leading to medication mismanagement and increased hospitalisations. Labor’s 60-day dispensing policy is yet another example of how this incompetent, out-of-touch Labor Albanese government is failing everyday Australians.