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Dutton 'worst health minister in living memory': poll

14 January, 2015

What a way to end one's ministerial term. Former Health Minister Peter Dutton has been ranked the worst health minister in living memory in a survey conducted by Australian Doctor magazine.

The magazine said more than 1000 readers – mostly GPs and specialists – took part in the poll, with one respondent labelling Dutton "dull and gullible".

An article appearing in the magazine quotes a Tasmanian GP as saying: "Dutton will be remembered as the dullest, least innovative and most gullible for swallowing the reforms from his thinktank.

"Although I am glad he has been demoted, it would have been good if he was still around to take responsibility for the current chaos he has caused."

Dutton landed the health portfolio following the Coalition's victory at the 2013 federal elections but has since been replaced by Sussan Ley following an end-of-year cabinet reshuffle.

The introduction of a GP co-payment proposed by the government in 2014's federal budget, along with an alternate plan to pursue a $5 cut to doctors' rebates, has faced stern opposition from specialists and health lobby groups alike.

Australian Medical Association head Professor Brian Owler said the government's policy proposals had resulted in "some of the angriest emails from doctors" ever received by the association.

At the time of publication, Dutton's office had not returned calls for comment.

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