As part of his State election bid, NSW’s incumbent Premier Mike Baird has announced he will provide seriously ill patients with free access to medication.
The changes mean the government will cover the $76 million for serious ill patients, including those suffering from hepatitis, severe allergic asthma, HIV, cystic fibrosis, juvenile diabetes, alzheimers and other rare diseases.
Speaking at the NSW Liberal Party campaign launch in Sydney, Baird said the concessions would “ease the financial burden” for those fighting cancer and other serious illnesses.
“Those with serious illnesses have enough to worry about without confronting additional costs and challenges,” he said.
“It’s just not right.”
The existing system charges NSW patients around $38 per script, a $6 concession, to access Highly Specialised Drugs.
In his campaign speech Baird also committed to creating a further 150,000 jobs over the next four years.
He also announced a new $2000 Small Business Employment Incentive for non-payroll tax paying businesses to encourage additional hires and plans to establish a $25 million Jobs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund. The fund will consist of $1000 scholarships for 25,000 students studying in the field of technology and other growth jobs.
The Premier fired warning shots to his newly-elected neighbouring Labor state governments of Victoria and Queensland.
“I am putting the Premiers of Queensland and Victoria on notice – we are coming for your events, we are coming for your businesses and we are coming for your jobs,” Baird said.
Supporting Baird at the election campaign launch was Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his mentor and former PM John Howard.
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) March 22, 2015
Earlier this week Baird came under fire after admitting his office called UBS – one of the two banks tendered to handle the government’s proposed privatisation of the state’s power network – after an analyst issued advice which said the assets sale would be “bad for the budget”.
Labor and the Greens will join the Shooters and Fishers Party in calling for a parliamentary inquiry in the upper house to investigate the influence Baird’s office may have had on the investment bank’s report.
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley joined Premier Daniel Andrews in Sydney at a protest against the selling of government electricity assets.
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