THE HON GREG HUNT MP
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE
INTERVIEW WITH JAYNE AZZOPARDI
Subjects: Continuous glucose monitoring, Diabetes treatment, Retirement
JAYNE AZZOPARDI: Australians living with type one diabetes could soon have access to cheaper treatment devices. The Morrison Government is proposing a raft of health subsidies as we head into the second week of the election campaign. And the current Health Minister, outgoing Health Minister Greg Hunt joins us now from Sydney. Good morning to you Minister. Today you are announcing a big investment in treatment for type one diabetes, what can you tell us about that?
GREG HUNT: Good morning Jayne and Happy Easter to everyone. So continuous glucose monitoring, which allows patients to monitor their glucose levels and therefore their ability to deal with diabetes will be made available and subsidised by the Government for all 130,000 type one diabetics. It will save individuals up to $5,000 a year but above all else, it’s about peace of mind and health treatment, available from the first of July. And it’s an immensely important investment in healthcare. So we currently cover children under 21, pregnant women and what are called concession card holders, people on lower incomes or in relevant categories. Now, we’ll cover everybody and that’s about saving lives and protecting lives and giving people better quality of life.
AZZOPARDI: We also know today that treatment for various cancers is going to become cheaper under this proposal, who will benefit from that?
HUNT: So two new treatments for cancer. The first, prostate cancer, Erlyand and that will help 1,000 patients a year with prostate cancer save up to $40,000 from the first of May and Empliciti for multiple myeloma which is a blood cancer and that will help 230 patients, but save $145,000 and give them a life-saving opportunity. It will either help save their lives, extend their lives or improve their lives. And these medicines would never have been affordable to the vast majority of Australians. And so under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, we’ll be listing those and that’s just immensely good news for the families and the patients and for everybody around these wonderful patients.
AZZOPARDI: And new treatments on the PBS are always good for people. This is an election campaign, we’ll wait to see if Labor will be matching those promises too. Some personal news Minister you only have another few weeks as Health Minister, it’s been an incredibly busy couple of years for you during the pandemic. Are you ready to put your feet up in retirement or do you have something else planned?
HUNT: When my time is over, and it’s five weeks of intense work between now and then on health, on giving the nation the choice around health and government and obviously I believe deeply in the leadership of Scott Morrison and in the team. I’ll take a bit of a break, pilates, possibly a tattoo. But above all else, the real purpose is to be a dad. And that’s what I’m looking forward to and some focus on mental health for people in terms of working in that space on a philanthropic side. But you know, the rest of my life, I’ve got plenty of time to sort that. But you know, to be a dad, and today is a great day to reflect on this, I haven’t been a proper dad and so that’s the real purpose and that’s my goal.
AZZOPARDI: Well that is wonderful. And if you are out in the Mornington Peninsula, look out for Greg Hunt with his tattoos doing pilates. Minister, thank you for your time this morning. And enjoy spending more time with your family. That’s wonderful.
HUNT: Thanks, Jayne. Take care.