The President of the Australian Medical Association has today called on the Abbott government to scrap the ill-conceived GP Tax.
Warning that “the health of Australians is too important for healthcare to be an ideological toy”, A/Prof Brian Owler advises “the Prime Minister should step in and scrap this policy”.
The AMA calls out the lack of evidence for introducing this policy and the falsehood that health expenditure is unsustainable.
“As a proportion of GDP, Australia’s healthcare spending has remained constant. In 2011 it was 8.93 per cent compared to the OECD average of 9.3 per cent. The proportion of this contributed by the federal government expenditure remains constant at around 41 per cent.
“As a proportion of federal government expenditure, health expenditure has actually fallen – from 18.1 per cent in 2006-07 to 16.1 per cent in 2012-13.’
The Prime Minister should take the advice of Australia’s most senior doctors and abandon his new tax.
These changes the Abbott government wants to make are not about making Medicare sustainable, they are an attempt to fundamentally change the system and shift towards a privatised, American-style system.
This will lead to greater inequality and a two-tiered health system. Labor will stand up to Tony Abbott and his broken promises not to introduce new taxes or cut health funding.
A/Prof Owler’s full editorial is available here.