Stark warnings that that lives could be put at risk have vindicated Labor’s decision to protect patients from Malcolm Turnbull’s plans to rip $270 million from the Medicare Safety Net.
In its submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Safety Net Legislation, the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network has warned the changes could have a dangerous impact on sex abuse victims.
"This might have serious associated risks to their lives and might severely interfere with their real chance of recovery.”
Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network, 19 November 2015
This warning is backed up in an anonymous submission from a survivor of child sex abuse.
“Under the new safety net I will suffer significant and increased financial hardship, or may be forced to give up much needed treatment with potentially disastrous consequences.”
A separate submission from radiation and oncology provider GenesisCare also warns that the changes proposed by the Turnbull Government will, “on average more than double patient out-of-pocket costs for radiotherapy”.
While Labor will support sensible reforms to simplify and improve the Medicare Safety Nets we are concerned this is money being taken from patients and once again, not being put back directly into care for disadvantaged communities.
The Medicare Safety Nets were introduced in recognition that some patients need greater access to medical services, especially vulnerable groups like those with serious and costly medical issues at different times in their lives.
While Labor is happy to discuss sensible reforms, the Government’s changes could adversely impact some of the most needy and vulnerable patients and we do not support the legislation in its current form.