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How to solve the RAT supply dilemma

Putting aside the wishes of Chemist Warehouse, and Scott Morrison’s trademark retreat from leadership, there is a very obvious and easy way to solve the supposed dilemma of Rapid Antigen Tests – put them on the PBS.

Every month, changes are made to the PBS – new medications coming on, some coming off – which pharmacies are very used to dealing with as part of their monthly update. This can be done at any time.

Buying in bulk provides enormous discounts. Leaving it to each individual pharmacy to order their supplies from wholesalers greatly increases the price (except for huge discount chains) and the delay in delivery as they compete for limited stock.

The federal government could procure the needed supplies and provide them to pharmacies for free who could then distribute them for a set dispensing fee that covers their fixed costs – no mark-up, no GST, limited supply per person.

Other businesses could buy them in bulk for workplace testing for cost price from the government who would act as the wholesaler.

That’s why we have a universal healthcare system.

Use some of the Medical Future Fund that Costello is hatching if you really need some cash to pay for it.

Or stop spending billions on war toys we will never use.


It’s not rocket science, troops.

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Here’s another timely reminder of the gutless, brainless, heartless lack of leadership from Scott Frigin-Fraud, making daily messup extensions of planning and supplying idiocy. The story goes that a dog bit the P M and then had to lick its date for an hour to get rid of the foul political taste…

  2. Terence Mills


    Do we still have a federal Health Minister ?

  3. Kaye Lee


    He’s in caretaker mode. Do nothing.

  4. Phil Pryor

    Terrence, Colbeck and Hunt have gone the way of the dodo. A political midden, hidden.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Stephen John Duckett is a health economist at the Grattan Institute. He posted this on Twitter earlier:

    The position with RATs is a total mess:
    1. Commonwealth govt (TGA) was late to approve
    2. Commonwealth & states were late to think about how RATs should fit into a public health screening or testing regime, and still haven’t done that adequately in my view
    3. Cwth govt determined it to be a private market opportunity not a universal public health measure
    4. Cwth govt did not ensure adequate supply
    5. Cwth govt did not put in place a results-recording regime
    In contrast English NHS has been using RATs since April in a systematic way

  6. Geoff Andrews

    Well, isn’t that typical of you leftish, uneconomic managing, latte drinking, envious, green(?), welfare cheats!
    You want everything for free. It’s hair-brained schemes like this that started the debt and deficit disaster of 2013 that the Government has only just got under control. Get a bit of spine, nanny-stater!

  7. Geoff Andrews

    Oops! Forgot the 😊 for the serious-takers.

  8. Bruce Ian White

    Probably everyone at Federal Health Department is down here at the South Coast still on leave. Skeleton staff don’t have the authority to make any decisions. All they can do is answer the phones. They’re not allowed to exercise any initiative.

  9. Bruce White

    Probably everyone at Federal Health Department is down here at the South Coast still on leave. Skeleton staff don’t have the authority to make any decisions. All they can do is answer the phones. They’re not allowed to exercise any initiative.

  10. pierre wilkinson

    but that would make sense and be a practical response to the problem, both anathema to Scotty and the marketeers

  11. Michael Taylor

    Geez this is one helluva stuff up.

  12. Jan

    “you can’t just make everything free”
    is this another I don’t hold a hose moment?

  13. margcal

    It’s beyond Morrison’s emotional intelligence and capitalist greed to comprehend that some of us are willing and wanting our taxes to be spent for the common good of all of us, rather than only for our own direct personal benefit.

  14. Kaye Lee


    That is an excellent point. Less taxes is not a goal within itself. Ask what is the opportunity cost of that drop in revenue. But Morrison and his bunch of inept ideologues are incapable of anything but parroting the slogans.

  15. Presser#1

    This is called ‘ bussines’. The lNP are rottten at iit. They can only understand ‘corruptyipn’

  16. GL

    Mostly it’s Scummo and Crony Co. Inc. not daring to upset the donors, big end of town, and their corporate masters.

  17. corvusboreus

    Looking around and seeing how much public utilities are deteriorating and disintegrating,
    and understanding that the Australian government currently owes somewhere between 8 & 9 billion,
    One does have to ponder the financial wisdom of offering taxcuts.
    Harder to keep house and pay off debt when you reduce your income.

  18. Max Gross

    PBS? Never. Gunna. Happen, Kaye. Being such a devout Christian, Sideshow Scott reckons “We’re now in a stage of the pandemic where you can’t just make everything free,” as he farms out rapid antigen tests [RATS] to business mates who sell the kits for profit. Morrison’s mob of mediocrities has also removed access to Medicare rebates for Covid tests.

  19. Max denehy

    Geoff Andrew’s appears to be an lnp troll

  20. Kaye Lee

    Geoff was joking Max

  21. blkmcs

    Not so much an “I don’t hold a hose moment”; as an “I don’t give a RATs” moment

  22. corvusboreus

    I think it was the divinyl Chrissy Amphlett who once sang..

    “it’s a fine line between satire and troll”

    Or have I misremembanced that one?

  23. Geoff Andrews

    I have a cunning theory: what better way to disguise the fact that one is a troll than to out a troll?
    I think you may have given Labor their next 10 second media grab: “Morrison couldn’t give a rat’s”.

  24. corvusboreus

    Is it a valid tactic to out-troll trolls in order to out trolls disguised as troll-outers?

    If so, I propose we call such practice troll-trawling.

  25. Geoff Andrews

    Continuing the rat’s arse theme.
    I was given a T shirt a couple of years ago (never been worn) that reads: “If I gave a shit you’d be the first one I’d give it to”.
    I move that I send it to Mr Morrison.
    Do I have a seconded?

  26. Kaye Lee

    An ad I see here is for a t-shirt saying “I’m not arguing, I’m just explaining why I am right.” Google ads have me pegged.

  27. Bert

    Geoff AndrewsJanuary 3, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Continuing the rat’s arse theme.
    I was given a T shirt a couple of years ago (never been worn) that reads: “If I gave a shit you’d be the first one I’d give it to”.
    I move that I send it to Mr Morrison.
    Do I have a seconded?

    Seconded, thirdeded and however many other you need.

  28. New England Cocky

    @ Geoff Andrews: Am I missing something here, or is your feeble attempt to replicate the satiric skills of AIMN celebrities Phil Pryor and Rossleigh merely another press release from Murdoch mediocrity espousing the ignorance of Liarbral Party trolls?

  29. Terence Mills

    Morrison just can’t help himself – he just has to stray from and twist the truth.

    He says that making RAT testing “free” would unfairly compete against the pharmacies and other commercial suppliers of RAT.

    He neglects to say that when the commonwealth government outlays public funds on subsidising PBS items, the pharmacies get paid by the commonwealth. In this context as with all other government outlays the money comes from the people of Australia : it is not government money.

    I see Greg Hunt popped up like a muppet yesterday to say that the commonwealth government could not remove GST from RAT testing kits as only the states could effect that change – that’s a manipulation of the truth.

    Telling lies is spreading like a virus in Canberra !

  30. GL

    Whatever you do don’t mention the $16billion election pork barrelling bribe warchest being used to do something useful and of immediate benefits of the population. The paroxysms of fear for such a thought would tie Scummo and Crony Co. Inc. in agonising knots.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Today in NSW, almost 28% of tests were positive. In Victoria it was 23% and rising rapidly. Great time for the testing regime to go belly up.

  32. Kyle Brunning

    Schmurko, “Mr. I don’t hold the hose, mate!”

    “It’s not a race” – He’s right – I’d say more like a sleepwalk off North head.

    “We can’t make everything free”. Well why not Smurko? You don’t hold the purse strings mate? Just tell the big bank to hit the zeros button some more.
    Oh I see, did you meant we just can’t make everything free (qualifyer) for the plebs.

    Millions – billions? Porkbarrelling the shit out of any iffy electorates is as no brainer, more carparks, more change rooms, more facilities to train gun happy morons to shoot the shit out of ducks, that’s how go get ’em capitalisms works best.

    As you all know, half billion grants to some cobbled together “authority” to do something, shit, anything about the great barrier reef, that’s OK. Thats a big tick.

    And 100 billion in jobkeeper payments to business, that they don’t have to pay back, even if they’re doing fine. That’s not a free corporate handout, thats investing in the future health of companies so they can continue to avoid paying tax, destroying the environment and underpaying and exploiting workers.

    If anyone is getting antsey about millions going to a certain old walnut and his disgrace of a news empire, it’s all about pretending to be gender inclusive. Big tick there.

    You have to admire the genious of it. How the cost of this pandemic has been neatly shifted onto the masses. Corporates get bulk freebies. The rest of us cop standowns, unpaid leave, job losses, self employed going to the wall, and we get to pay the bankcard bill or rather, our children get to (is this the Bill we can’t afford they were on about last election?) – and now we have to pay for virus tests ourselves, while this thing rages due to gross imcompetence, ignorance and vested interests.

    Well, let’s all just keep sleewpalking to the next election, and remember, it’s not a race. How can it be, if there is already a winner? A lot of winners, actually.

  33. corvusboreus

    You forgot Robodebt.

    That wasn’t free, cheap, or even legal.

    Morrison was minister originally responsible for launching that paricular gladwrapped grogan.

    The automated unleashing of patently dodgy sums to levy near-guaranteed false debt upon vulnerable citizens, garnished without proper recourse to investigatory appeal, and with flagrant contempt for presumption of innocence.

    People got threatening red letters of up to 5 figure sums.
    Homes were lost, families were fractured.
    Some did the equations and selected suicide.

    Once enough collectivised civic will was organised to launch a class action challenge, the supreme court took one look at the scheme’s means and ways and adjudged it, in legal terms, “a scrotesack stuffed with prawnshit”.

    The government was ordered to repay all plus extras, thus costing commonwealth, aka con-rev, aks ‘taxpayers’ a not so cool $1.6 billion (+sundry undiscloseds)

    Robodebt worth remembering.

    How good’s vindictive larceny?

  34. Kaye Lee

    Singapore has sent 20 free tests to all its citizens.

  35. Kaye Lee

    In NSW, over 35,000 new cases with one third of tests coming back positive.

  36. corvusboreus

    RATkits in Straya.

    COAL will allot vouchers for RATkits through selected dealerships in marginal electorates,

    ALP will release details of RATkit-release policy closer to the next election (but reckon scomo sux),

    GRNs will play cynical games of principle, poker with wist for 100% cruelty-free RATkits.

    PHON & the OAP blimps will use poly-media to forment angry mobs of anti-RATkit discontent.

  37. Michael Taylor

    Does anyone else remember all those photos a month or so ago of pollies having a beer at the pub and promoting the idea that “it’s great to be able to have a beer with your mates again”?

    Morrison did it. Albo did it.

    It was irresponsible.

  38. Trevor

    COVID 19 is a conservative political wet dream.

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