The entire justification for the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s assault on Medicare has again been blown out of the water by the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) annual report on health funding.
Health Expenditure Australia 2013–14, shows total spending on health goods and services in Australia was just 3.1% higher in real terms than in 2012–13.
This is the second year in a row the AIHW has demolished the Government’s justification for its GP Tax and hospital cuts by finding health spending is not out of control.
‘This growth was lower than the average annual growth over the decade (5.0%), but more than the 1.1% growth seen in 2012–13, which was the lowest since the 1980s.”
AIHW spokesperson Dr Adrian Webster, 24 September 2015
The report also shows the average amount spent on health per person also grew only 1.4 per cent, which the AIHW says is less than half the average annual growth over the decade.
At the same time, an increasing share of health costs are being pushed on to families, with non-government funding of health jumping by 5 per cent in real terms.
The AIHW reports shows it is possible to keep health spending under control without attacking the sick or the poor.
They confirm Labor’s historic health and hospitals reform agreement with all states and territories, as well as substantial investment in health and medical research, was possible without leading to unsustainable health costs.
Last year’s report helped demolish the case for the original $7 GP Tax. This year’s report confirms there’s no need for the $1.3 billion freeze on general practice rebates.
Labor showed that a government committed to Medicare can deliver an affordable and sustainable health system without making pensioners and families pay a tax every time they need a doctor.
The Liberals lied to Australians about their plans for a GP Tax and $57 billion in hospital cuts.
Now, the AIHW has shown, for the second year in a row, that there is no justification for the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s continuing attempts to attack Medicare and drive down bulk billing.