Tony Abbott’s 2nd anniversary marks two years of lies and unprecedented cuts and chaos for Australia’s health system.
Just one day before the election Mr Abbott promised ”no cuts to health” but in his very first Budget he tore up a landmark agreement with the states and ripped $57 billion from the nation’s hospitals.
“We are not in the business of cutting health…”
“Let me say it again – no cuts to health. No cuts to health…”
TONY ABBOTT – PRESS CONFERENCE, MELBOURNE – 30 AUGUST 2013
In the following months Mr Abbott’s Government attacked Australia’s health system at every level including by:
- Tearing up Labor’s historic health and hospitals agreement with states, slashing $57 billion out of public hospitals.
- Slapping a GP Tax on every visit to the doctor.
- Abandoning the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars, and abolishing the Australian National Preventive Health Agency.
- Abolishing the Health and Hospitals Fund, cutting $1 billion reserved for essential health infrastructure.
- Cutting more than $500 million in public dental programs.
- Abolishing every Medicare Local.
- Shutting Health Workforce Australia.
- Its ongoing plan to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Medicare Safety Nets.
- Charging every Australian more for their medicine through its $1.3 billion hike in PBS co-payments.
- Numerous cuts to mental health programs.
- Cut $800 million out of the funds which pay for mental health and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
After promising not to shut any Medicare Locals Tony Abbott has shut every single one of Australia’s 61 Medicare Locals.
"We are not shutting any Medicare Locals."
TONY ABBOTT – ROOTY HILL PEOPLE’S FORUM – 28 AUGUST 2013
And after promising “no new taxes” he attempted to slug all Australians with a $7 GP tax for every visit to a doctor, then tried a $5 tax, and is now slugging them with a backdoor tax through his four year freeze on Medicare rebates which is forcing doctors to increase fees and restrict bulk billing.
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Even though the rebate reduction has been retracted, the freeze will have greater impact with time — nearly double the amount of the rebate reduction by 2017–18.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
Tony Abbott knew he could not be elected if he was up front with Australians about his promises to gut hospitals, smash Medicare and hike taxes.
Instead he lied to try to convince Australians to vote for him and now patients are paying the price, with higher fees, less access to bulk billing and longer waiting lists.
The Abbott Government is determined to end universal access to health care and make patients pick up the tab.
Labor believes Australians should get the health care they need, not just what they can afford.
Only Labor will protect Medicare.