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Health ministers agree to cannabis plan

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April 13, 2018

Health ministers will decide whether to streamline patients access to medicinal cannabis.

Patients in all states and territories could get faster access to medicinal cannabis under a deal to to be put to health ministers on Friday.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has already signed up NSW to the process which is expected to make medicinal cannabis available to patients within two days.

However other states, especially Queensland where the wait can be as long as six months, have been harder to convince.

The deal involves a single approval process under the Therapeutic Goods Administration, avoiding duplication with state authorities.

Tasmania and Victoria are understood to be the most interested in taking up the offer.

The health ministers will also discuss at the Sydney meeting a plan from Western Australia to raise the smoking age to 21.

However, it is unlikely to get any traction.

Likely to gain support is a national action plan for endometriosis, including research, GP training and education in schools.

Endometriosis is present when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus occurs outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility.

There will be ongoing discussions on hospital funding, with WA and NSW already signed up to new agreements but other states holding out.

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