The Abbott government is intent on taxing all Australian families to go to the doctor, based on flaky numbers and false arguments. The GP Tax is a broken promise and an unfair impost to address a problem that does not exist.
On last night’s Q&A program, the Treasurer told the audience:
‘Now Australians visit doctors on average 11 times a year.’
JOE HOCKEY – Q&A – MONDAY 19 MAY 2014
This is wrong. It was wrong when Tony Shepherd, the Chairman of the government’s Commission of Audit, said it a few weeks ago, and it was wrong when the Treasurer said it last night. Joe Hockey should know better than to continue to peddle this false figure.
In fact the latest OECD data shows the average number of consultations in Australia is less than 7 per year, which is bang on the OECD average:
At a time when chronic disease is increasing and with an ageing population, governments should be investing in primary care, not creating barriers for patients to see GPs.
A number of GP practices across the country have already reported patients cancelling their appointments because they cannot afford to pay Tony Abbott’s new GP Tax. GPs are best placed to keep Australians well and out of hospital, and this new tax will only hurt the health system.
This is bad, lazy policy, based on lies. Tony Abbott lied before the election when he said there would be no new taxes, and Joe Hockey is lying after the election to try to justify this broken promise.
Labor believes all Australians should get the healthcare they need, not just the healthcare they can afford. Only Labor can be trusted to protect Medicare.