The Government has introduced a range of measures to address the spiralling cost of health care in the country, with the announcement of a cap on the cost of treatment for Cubas under 18, a freeze on the number of new patients the Government must sign up for care and a ban on the sale of expensive medicines.
The Government also announced a cap in the cost and use of prescription drugs for Cuba, while also introducing measures to allow Cubas to obtain medical help abroad, including a waiver for Cuban citizens who need to leave the country to get treatment abroad.
Mr Turnbull has also announced he is cutting the cost per week of a Cuba living in Australia from $1,600 to $8,600.
Mr Morrison’s policy announcement today also includes the ban on Cubans getting medical help overseas for their own treatment, while Mr Turnbull’s new policy will not apply to Cubans who are already in Australia.
“In other words, a Cuban who is not in Australia for a medical emergency could still be charged an exorbitant price to have their own medical treatment paid for by a non-Cuban in Australia,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Turnbull said the policy changes were in line with his priorities to ensure Cubas could have a better quality of life, including an end to Cubas living in the US, which has a $4,000 cap on Cuban medical care. “
The Government will continue to support our Cubas, but it will not be an excuse for them to seek out expensive medical care abroad.”
Mr Turnbull said the policy changes were in line with his priorities to ensure Cubas could have a better quality of life, including an end to Cubas living in the US, which has a $4,000 cap on Cuban medical care.
“It is important for Cubicans that we have an honest discussion about what we want to achieve for them, so we can work together with them to find that answer,” he said.
He also outlined the Government’s intention to end the policy of “re-admitting” Cubans to the US.
“For the last four years, we’ve been trying to re-admit Cubans in the United States,” Mr Turnbull told reporters today.
“This policy has failed and we need to take a different approach.”
Mr Morrison announced the policy change on Monday, saying it was aimed at helping Cubas in need.
“I am proud to announce that the Government will end the preferential treatment given to Cuban nationals living in our country and I think this is the right thing to do,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“Cuba needs to get the best medical care it can get and we have no place in a system where there are people being re-arrested just because they have been in the UK for a few years.”
He said the government would not re-apply the cap on Cubas who were already in the Australian health system and would not allow them to obtain any more care overseas.
Mr Palmer said the Government had been working to address concerns about Cubas’ health care since he took over as foreign minister in 2014.
“My first duty is to our Cubans, to our people, and to our country,” he previously told the ABC.
“Our job is to make sure that Cubans can continue to get access to the best healthcare they can get.”
If we are serious about making sure Cubans have access to quality healthcare, we have to make it clear that this is an international issue, it’s not just about Cubans living in New Zealand,” he added.
“If we can get something in place that actually makes Cubans feel comfortable and that gives them a better chance of getting the medical help they need then I will certainly be happy.” “
We want to find a way to make things work so that Cubas can get the medical care they need, but that doesn’t mean we will have to reinterpret the terms of access, the conditions of access that we’re offering,” he claimed.
“If we can get something in place that actually makes Cubans feel comfortable and that gives them a better chance of getting the medical help they need then I will certainly be happy.”
The Australian Medical Association has previously called for the government to end preferential treatment of Cubas.
Mr Morales said his policy change would not affect Cubans currently in the Australia-Cuba Free Trade Agreement (ACFTAA).
“We have a free trade agreement with the US that is the same as ours, the same access, but we have a different set of rules for people who live in other countries,” he argued.
“And the way that we are dealing with Cubans right now is the way we are handling Cubans overseas.
We’re trying to get Cubans here and they’re not getting the treatment that they need.”
There is no place for that in our free trade agreements, so what we’re doing here is making sure that we continue to have a strong relationship with the United State, we’re trying really hard to continue to make a strong economic relationship with them, but they are also making a strong and successful economic relationship here in Australia.