Can Gillard fix growing cynicism on PBS policy?

IS THERE no end to the talents of Julia Gillard?

As the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) marshalled its forces in June to launch a national campaign against the government’s deeply unpopular PBS deferrals policy, Health Minister Nicola Roxon cynically announced the listing of a handful of previously deferred PBAC-recommended drugs. 

Shortly after that, the government was forced into an unwanted Senate inquiry pulled on by the Coalition to examine deferrals and the management of the PBS.

The bipartisan inquiry slammed the government’s mismanagement of the PBS and its deferrals policy in particular and recommended an immediate return to the previous policy of no indefinite deferrals and guaranteed listing of any PBAC-approved drug costing the PBS less than $10 million.

Tabling the Senate Committee Report, Senator Scott Ryan said the report “outlined one of the great debacles in our commonwealth health system for many years