Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has slammed the Government’s plan to provide $392.3 million and claimed most of its promises are already taken care of in the current system.
Speaking at a press conference in Western Sydney, Abbott was asked about the Government's National Broadband Network promises and what his vision of the future in terms of using broadband for health was. He used the opportunity to criticise the NBN and promote his Internet plan.
“We already have under the existing Medicare health system remote consultations, so much of what she [Prime Minister, Julia Gillard] talked about today in fact already exists,” he said. “I’m very happy to see increased use of technology in the delivery of health services
“But I simply make the point that we are much more likely to get affordable and deliverable broadband services from a competitive market than we are from a Government monopoly.”
Abbott said the Government wanted to make every household in Australia spend $5000 each to build the NBN before paying more to use it, repeating a claim he made on the ABC program, Insiders, yesterday.
“It is an absolutely dud plan and by contrast the Coalition plan is affordable and achievable,” he said. “We don’t want to saddle ourselves with an extra $43 billion in debt to get something which is achievable in more affordable, more efficient and more effective ways.”
Abbott has pledged to cancel the $466.7 million promised by the Government for an electronic health record system. The Coalition did not make any pledges for e-health initiatives during its health policy launch on August 5.