SUSSAN Ley has held onto the high profile health minister role in the re-elected Malcolm Turnbull federal government after fears she would be made a scapegoat for Labor’s “Medi-scare” campaign.
The member for Farrer was shielded from much of the heat applied by Labor leader Bill Shortern on the future of Medicare which took his party to the brink of an unlikely election victory on July 2.
Ms Ley was promoted to health minister in late 2014 by former Prime Minister Tony Abbottt and has retained the position in two ministerial re-shuffles following his deposing as PM last year by Mr Turnbull and the election.
She will also retain her sport and aged care portfolios in the post-election ministerial re-shuffle announced by the Prime Minister on Monday.
“I have confidence in all of my ministers including (Ms Ley),” Mr Turnbull said.
Ms Ley said she was delighted to remain health minister.
“The Turnbull Government has developed a bold and ambitious health reform agenda needed to deliver a first-class, universal health system and I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to continue this important work,” she said.
“This includes protecting the future of Medicare and ensuring it remains universally accessible to all Australians.
“However, we must not be afraid to ask the tough questions and ensure every taxpayer dollar spent on health lands as close to the patient as possible.
“A failure to ensure our national health spend is efficient will ultimately fail the patients who need it most.”
Riverina MP Michael McCormack was one of the big winners of the National Party’s strong election showing by being promoted to small business minister.
The role was previously performed by assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer, who remains in a re-badged position of minister for revenue and financial services.
National Party deputy leader Fiona Nash will add local government to her regional development and communications roles.
The Coalition will announce shortly successful projects in the latest round of the Stronger Regions Funding pool with Wodonga and Wangaratta councils chasing cash for major sporting and leisure facilities.
The government is also due to release the next round of mobile phone black spots.
Senator Bridget McKenzie had been touted for a promotion, but missed out.