Labor seeking feedback on health platform

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Shadow health minister Catherine King has requested feedback on the party's national platform as it readies for the next federal election.

Ms King and Labor leader Bill Shorten hosted a National Health Policy Summit in March. 

"With the participation of over 150 leading thinkers on health, the Summit articulated what we need to do together to improve our health care system and the health of all Australians," said Mr King in a note to stakeholders.

"In the months since then we have been working to put policy flesh on those bones, including through a series of roundtables on issues in health, mental health and ageing. This process will continue up to the next election, and we hope to re-engage with you if we have not already."

Ms King requested feedback on Labor's national platform, which was last updated in 2015, with stakeholders given until this Friday (12 December) to make submissions.

In the section covering private health, the current platform recommits a Labor government to maintaining a balanced public-private health system.

"While governments have sole responsibility for managing the public health sector, they should also support a strong and sustainable private health care industry." It says the two systems should complement each other.

It says Labor would "regulate" the private health industry to "ensure value-for-money products are available to all policy holders" and work to eliminate surprise gap payments.

It is less clear on the fate of the private health insurance rebate, already diminished due to reforms implemented by the former Labor government, saying it would "Ensure the benefits of private health insurance rebates are available to Australians who need them most."