When asked to elaborate on what she meant by "confusion", she responded, "Look, I think genuinely there's been some misunderstanding and when new measures are announced, misunderstanding often does follow. But it is important that doctors and their patients know that the changes that were talked about to come into effect on Monday will not. And you know, the associated alarm over no more bulk billing or an additional $20 fee that patients may have to pay, all of that that is added I think to a state of confusion, not all of it, by the way, in line with the previous policy, we need to put that to one side and I don't want to talk about what the previous policy meant because as I said, it's off the table and I stand ready to engage, to consult, and to talk to the sector... That doesn't mean we aren't going to work together with doctors and with the sector to continue to protect Medicare, to introduce a price signal in health and to ensure that we have the high quality treatment and health system in Australia that we are all so proud of. So my message today is to pause, to consult, to listen and then to take the next steps."
When asked if consultation should have taken place before this policy was announced, she said, "Well I don't want to comment on what went before. I was a minister in another portfolio. I've been sworn in as the Health Minister, this is the approach that I'm taking."
Read the full transcript here.