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Greens push for ongoing health reform negotiations

The Australian Greens are urging the Government to continue negotiations which would expand the $7.3 billion health reform package by including overhauls to aged care, dental and mental health services.

"The Greens will continue to promote sensible and constructive action, expanding the Government's plan to see long awaited reforms for the aged care sector, action on mental health and the implementation of a national dental health care system," Australian Greens Health Spokesperson Rachel Siewert said today.

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A new approach for mental health - Greens

The Greens today announced a comprehensive mental health plan for Australia and are calling on the Commonwealth to embrace it as a fundamental part of the Prime Minister's proposed health reform program.

"The Greens have a fully developed, integrated plan for mental health which I urge Mr Rudd to consider if he is serious about building a reformed and effective health system", said Greens health spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Kevin Rudd's health plan needs more work

In an effort to break the Senate deadlock on private health insurance legislation this year I moved an amendment to put an additional $145 million into mental health services - exactly the programs Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry says are needed if we are to tackle the biggest cause of death for under 45-year-olds.

It would have been a win-win outcome - a massive boost to mental health and potential circuit breaker that could have freed up $1.7 billion for public hospitals.

But the Government rejected the Greens' constructive pro-public health approach.

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Govt misses opportunity to boost mental health, but Greens decide to back Private Health Bills

Having previously opposed the Medicare Levy Surcharge, the Greens have now decided to support both it and the Private Health Insurance Rebate legislation.

The Greens will support the legislation which would see $1.9 billion directed to public hospitals, despite the Government rejecting a proposal that would have given a $145 million boost to early intervention mental health services.

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