Joe Hockey has confirmed the Abbott Government’s GP Tax will prevent one million GP visits every year.
Answering a question from Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, Mr Hockey told Parliament this afternoon:
"I’m advised one per cent in year one. One per cent in year one."
Joe Hockey – Question Time – 27 August 2014
In fact, in evidence to Senate Estimates this year the Department of Health estimated the GP Tax would cause a 1 per cent fall in GP consultations every year, or one million fewer consultations.
“Placing a barrier between patients is a disastrous health policy,” Ms King said.
“GPs are the frontline of the health system, providing crucial early intervention that prevents health conditions deteriorating, leading to worse, and more expensive health outcomes.
“Indeed, former Health Department Secretary Dr Stephen Duckett has warned that if just one in 50 people avoid their GP and end up in hospital because of the GP Tax, there will be no savings to the health system.
“The Grattan Institute has found those parts of Australia with the fewest GP services already have higher hospital costs.”