Dutton takes on health portfolio, eHealth still unclear

As expected, Queensland MP Peter Dutton has been named as the new Minister for Health in the Abbott government, and will add Minister for Sport to his portfolio responsibilities.

A new Assistant Minister for Health, Nationals Senator Fiona Nash, will join the outer ministry, along with NSW Senator Marise Payne, who has been named Minister for Human Services, in charge of delivering social and health-related services such as Medicare.

Former shadow parliamentary secretaries for primary care, Andrew Southcott, and regional healthcare, Andrew Laming – both qualified medical doctors – have missed out. Dr Southcott was the spokesman for eHealth in opposition.

Mental health will be part of Mr Dutton's responsibilities, while Liberal Senator for Victoria, Mitch Fifield, has been named Assistant Minister for Social Services in charge of aged and disability care. The Minister for Social Services is Kevin Andrews, a former aged care minister in the Howard government.

NSW Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, who held the shadow aged care portfolio in opposition, has been demoted to parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Social Services.

Malcolm Turnbull has been named as Minister for Communications, and will be assisted by parliamentary secretary Paul Fletcher, a former executive with Optus.

Queensland Senator Sue Boyce, who along with Senator Fierravanti-Wells has taken a strong interest in eHealth over recent years, is leaving the Senate next July.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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