Calculations by the Department of Health in South Australia reported today demonstrate that waiting times in emergency departments could triple at a cost of $2 billion to the system overall.
“It appears that everyone but Peter Dutton understands that primary care is at the cheaper end of Australia’s healthcare system,” Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said.
“The whole point of providing universal access to GPs is to detect medical conditions before they materialise into something more serious. Preventing access to GPs will only lead to Australians becoming more unwell at a much greater cost to the health system overall.”
The Opposition has consistently argued that this is a policy that will leave patients worse off and come at a greater cost to the health system, and now it could not be more clear.
“This proposed tax is about much more than a six dollar fee – it is the first step in the Abbott Government’s attempt to dismantle Medicare and create a two-tiered health system in Australia,” Ms King said.
Australia spends much less as a proportion of GDP on health than many other developed countries at 9.1 per cent. By contrast the United States spends 17 per cent of its GDP on healthcare. Privatising healthcare and restricting access to ‘those who can afford to pay more’ will lead to worse health outcomes for the entire population, at a greater cost to everybody.