Govt backflip mutes opposition...for now

Ms Gillard knew deferrals were bad policy, and it didn’t take a formal commitment by the Coalition to reverse deferrals without qualification to get her to change her mind.

The backflip was an attempt to regain the support of the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) – at least to the point where Ms Gillard’s credibility was salvaged by the deadline date of 30 September, when she undertook to “resolve” the issue.

The statement released by Health Minister Nicola Roxon and Ms Gillard – without any consultation with the key patient group stakeholders – gives an insight into the failure of policy and the desperation accompanying the decision to backflip on all deferrals to date. But the bottom line is that Ms Gillard is still clinging to the deferrals mantra – and they’ll be a fact of life after the end of next year.  

Ms Gillard’s key political objective was met – albeit on a temporary basis