The Abbott Government must immediately rule out any intention to impose a new charge on medicines for self-funded Australian retirees.
“Reports today that the Abbott Government plans to slug elderly Australians with a new ‘intermediate co-charge’ would affect more than 210,000 Commonwealth Seniors Healthcare Card holders and is of great concern,” Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said.
“This will prevent older Australians from filling important scripts which could lead to them becoming extremely unwell. It is a proposal that will only put additional pressure on Australia’s hospital system and will impact on frontline health services.”
Increasing the PBS co-payment from $6.10 to $12.60 for CSHC holders will prevent access to important medicines for thousands of self-funded retirees. This is a significant amount of money. It is a short-sighted proposal that will put additional stress on Australia’s health system and put the health of thousands of Australians at risk.
“This is the next step in the Abbott Government’s hidden plan to dismantle Medicare. The Government already has a plan to tax Australians for going to their GP, now the Government plans to make it harder for elderly Australians to access medicines,” Ms King said.
“Labor ruled out this proposal while in government – Tony Abbott should do the same.”
“If Mr Abbott is serious about the health of all Australians, I call on him to rule out this proposal immediately.”
The Government’s proposal would affect tens of thousands of self-funded retirees who rely on statins to reduce their risk of stroke; drugs to reduce the suffering caused by osteoporosis; drugs to treat diabetes; and pain relief for chronic sufferers of pain.