Australian Prime Minister Radio interview – Triple M Central Coast

Prime Minister

Our next guest will be shaking in his boots because we’re going to grill him on the four burner gas BBQ. It is the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Anthony Albanese. He joins us this morning, Mr. Prime Minister, good morning.

MAZ COMPTON, HOST: Good morning, Mr Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, wonderful to be with you.

GERRARD: Now PM, you were on the Central Coast yesterday. We didn’t have time to catch up. What were you doing on the coast yesterday?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I was visiting the Urgent Care Clinic there in Umina with Dr Gordon Reid, who of course, is a fantastic local member there. Yesterday was the 40th Birthday of Medicare.

COMPTON: Oh, wow.

PRIME MINISTER: So it’s a real time to remind people of how important it is for our health system. It’s the pride of the world. Australians should be so proud that it’s regarded as the best health system in the world. We need to protect it. We tripled the bulk billing incentive last year, and it’s made a difference. Bulk billing was in decline there on the Coast and around Australia. We’ve arrested the decline, and it’s increased by five per cent over just November and December, which is good news for people on the coast.

COMPTON: I’ve got to say Albo, you know, as a mum of a young boy who loves being on anything that’s got wheels on it. It does sort of it takes that pressure off, like if you’re in a situation where your kid gets injured, but it’s not bad enough to go to emergency but you can’t get into a doctor because you’ve got to make an appointment. It just really services those situations and then you’re not, you know, the mum stressing out rocking up at the emergency department thinking that you’re wasting everybody’s time. So it does, I feel like there really was a gap in the market, so to speak, for those situations and the Urgent Care Clinics are a brilliant solution for that.

PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. Well, the one there. The Central Coast, on the Peninsula there has already seen 1400 patients since it opened in November. So in a very short period of time that’s 1400 people who weren’t sitting in emergency departments because what happens of course, if one of your kids does fall off something with wheels, then if you’re in an emergency department, it’s not life threatening so you get bumped down the queue, understandably, if someone is in an acute situation where they might lose their life.

COMPTON: Exactly.

PRIME MINISTER: So it takes all of that pressure off. And I know when I was a little one, I grew up near Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown. That’s where I ended up when I had multiple, I can trace the stitches around my legs and arms, etc. There was a two or three year period where I ended up there waiting to get looked after. You always got great treatment, but you didn’t get it quickly because understandably, now Urgent Care Clinics are such a sensible solution and they’re making an enormous difference and I’m really proud that the 58 we promised are all up and running. There’s one further up the coast as well at Lake Haven in Emma’s electorate, there of Dobell, and they just make such a difference. I was in Queensland a couple of days ago and they’ve had flooding up there and there was one bloke there who had cuts over his feet because he’d been in the in the river rescuing a cow that had been washed away. Something I wasn’t expecting to see. It got a bit of a run on TV in Brisbane that night. But that’s the sort of thing and what he said was that if the Urgent Care Clinic wasn’t there he probably wouldn’t have gone to get medical assistance, because it would have taken too long and he didn’t want to clog up the hospital. But he did need it. He needed it to make sure that there wasn’t an infection or, or anything else from the cuts that he’d received. So it can make an enormous difference, and it is making a difference. And in addition to that, as a result of the bulk billing increase, the tripling of the bulk billing incentive, we’ve had 360,000 additional bulk billed trips to the GP, making a big difference.

GERRARD: But can the banks help out? Seriously, I see seven and a half percent on their loan. And you’re going, ‘come on guys, you’re making billions of dollars every year’. Can you guys ever say anything to them? Or the insurance companies? Which my insurance, house insurance went up 70 per cent. You go, this is really tough, people are really suffering.

PRIME MINISTER: Well we want the ACCC to look at all of these issues in terms of cost of living pressures, including for the insurance industry.

GERRARD: If you won the $200 million Powerball last night, would you still stay working, or would you say, ‘up yours to everyone I’m out of here’?

PRIME MINISTER: I do this job because of the enormous privilege that I have of being Prime Minister of the greatest country on Earth.

GERRARD: It is a pretty good country

PRIME MINISTER: It is the greatest country on Earth and we should never take it for granted. But I have the great honour of taking measures to make sure we not only stay the greatest country, but we continue to make it even greater in the future. So last night, of course, whoever won there I hope it was someone on the coast.


PRIME MINISTER: If so, if you look at your window there you might see them still running around.

COMPTON: Jumping for joy.

PRIME MINISTER: After an all-night bender.

GERRARD: It was Mazzy or I we wouldn’t be here today.

COMPTON: That’s true.

GERRARD: I hope South Sydney go well this year as well, Prime Minister. Thank you very much for taking time out.

PRIME MINISTER: There’s lots of Rabbitohs true believers on the coast there.

GERRARD: Yes that is true. Prime Minister, thanks for joining us this morning.

COMPTON: Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks, guys.

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