Few sparks in health debate

The health minister and her opposition counterpart went head to head in a National Press Club debate yesterday and found they agreed on more than they disagreed.

There was, as a journalist said in a preamble to a question, an "outbreak of bipartisanship".

A smiling Ms Plibersek opened proceedings by saying she'd held the portfolio for 622 days and "loved every minute of it".

She went on to talk about the wonderful things she'd done, both in policy achievement terms and the people at the health coal face she'd met.

She summed it up by describing a "stronger, smarter" health system with "patient benefit first".

Her only reference to the opposition was that she was pleased Tony Abbott had said Australia has an excellent health system.

Mr Dutton replied in similar vein, saying there was a lot that was great in the