Abbott launches Coalition’s health policy

Speaking at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, Mr Abbott said Australia had an outstanding health system which required "incremental change" but not a "shake-up".

"What we intend to do is maintain existing levels of health funding, but try to ensure some of that money is redirected from bureaucracies to frontline services," he said.

Mr Abbott said Labor had cut Medicare and hospital funding, "tampered with" the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme approval process and alienated many health professional groups.

He said Mr Rudd had falsely claimed the coalition would target health funding to balance the federal budget, if it won government.

"The last thing we want to do is impose an overall cut in health funding which, as it happens, gives the lie to some of Mr Rudd's more shrill and hysterical claims last night," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott extended his commitment on health to education funding. "Overall health and education funding will be