Capricornia residents will wait longer for a hospital bed and face longer delays in Emergency Departments as a result of Tony Abbott’s hospital funding cuts.
Federal Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King, Labor Candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga this morning met local health workers and visited Rockhampton Hospital to discuss first hand the Abbott Government’s assault on Medicare.
Tony Abbott came to power promising “no cuts to health” but just months later ripped $57 billion out of public hospitals.
Tony Abbott’s broken promise on health will cost Queensland Hospitals $11.8 billion over the next decade, including $574 million ripped from the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service.
Tony Abbott’s cuts will mean real consequences for patients in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Sarina and everywhere else in Central Queensland.
Under the former Newman Government over 4,000 positions were axed from the Queensland health system, including more than 1,000 nurses and midwives.
Across Queensland Tony Abbott’s health cuts are the equivalent of funding 2,895 nurses, 818 doctors and 824 health professionals.
In Central Queensland these cuts could have funded 40 doctors, 141 nurses and 40 health practitioners.
At the same time, public hospitals are reporting near record numbers of patients, as people increasingly seek to dodge Tony Abbott’s new GP Tax by swamping Emergency Departments.
Tony Abbott’s four year freeze on Medicare rebates is just the latest version of the GP Tax which has seen the Abbott Government attempt to slug patients with a $7 fee, a $5 fee a $20 fee and now an $8.43 fee through the back door.
The freeze, which commenced in July will rip $1.3 billion out of general practice over the next four years, a move an article in the highly respected Medical Journal of Australia finds could lead to even higher charges than the original GP Tax.
Even though the rebate reduction has been retracted, the freeze will have greater impact with time — nearly double the amount of the rebate reduction by 2017–18. For economic reasons, the freeze may still force GPs who currently bulk bill to charge copayments.
“The Cost of Freezing General Practice” Medical Journal of Australia
The study found that by 2017/18, the shortfall will leave GPs $8.43 worse off, forcing many doctors to charge patients who are currently bulk billed, and increase out of pocket payments for other patients.
The rebate freeze confirms Tony Abbott’s promise that the GP Tax is dead is as believable as his promises before the election of no new taxes and no cuts to health.
Tony Abbott’s cuts to health and hospitals in Queensland and his GP Tax show why Capricornia cannot afford the Abbott Government and why Capricornia needs Leisa Neaton as part of a federal Labor Government.
Only Labor believes in Medicare and only Labor believes in keeping our public hospitals strong.
Only Labor’s Leisa Neaton will stand up for families in Capricornia by opposing Tony Abbott’s continuing attack on Medicare.