Malcolm Turnbull must immediately drop his GP Tax and restore the right of all Australians to access universal healthcare.
If he doesn’t, it’s very clear that nothing has changed. Families and the healthcare sector can only expect more of the same.
Following last year’s Budget, Malcolm Turnbull said:
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I support unreservedly and wholeheartedly every element in the Budget. Every single one.
ALAN JONES: So you’re totally supportive of the Medicare co-payment?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I support every element, of course, including the Medicare co-payment. Do you want to go through the whole list?
ALAN JONES: You’re totally supportive of the increase in the fuel excise?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I support… no, let’s go through it. I support the re-prioritised funding of official development assistance. I support introducing co-payments for general practitioner pathology and diagnostic imaging services in the Medicare Benefits Schedule. I support the reforms to higher education. I support the changes to family payment reform. Do you want me to read through the whole Budget?
MALCOLM TURNBULL – 2GB – 5 JUNE 2014
Malcolm Turnbull sat around the Cabinet table and endorsed the $57 billion cut from public hospitals, cuts that NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird has declared to be “unsustainable.”
Malcolm Turnbull sat around the Cabinet table and endorsed hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to preventative health programs, kids dental scheme and drug and alcohol programs.
Malcolm Turnbull sat around the Cabinet table and endorsed plans to slug all Australians with a $7 GP Tax and then endorsed its replacement with a four year freeze ripping $1.3 billion out of general practice.
Just weeks after it was introduced that freeze is already wreaking havoc on patients, with doctors forced to raise fees, cut bulk billing, and in at least one case, shut their practice.
Just like the original GP Tax, the rebate freeze imposes an up-front charge between patients and their GP, and Malcolm Turnbull voted for this.
At the same time, public hospitals are reporting near record numbers of patients, as people increasingly seek to dodge these new gap payments.
It doesn’t matter who runs the Liberal Party – these cuts to health must go.
If Malcolm Turnbull wants to show a new style of leadership he must drop his assault on public hospital and Medicare.
No matter who leads the Liberal Party, Labor will continue to fight for Medicare and the right of all Australians to access universal healthcare.