p>Malcolm Turnbull’s first major economic statement has continued Tony Abbott’s attack on health care. Another $2.1 billion in cuts will make health care even less affordable to millions of Australians.
Malcolm Turnbull’s first major economic statement has continued Tony Abbott’s attack on health care.
Another $2.1 billion in cuts will make health care even less affordable to millions of Australians.
This is actually worse than anything Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey came up with to destroy Medicare.
Despite promising new leadership, Malcolm Turnbull has –
- Ripped another $650 million out of Medicare by slashing bulk billing for diagnostic imaging and pathology.
- Gutted crucial health workforce training programmes by $595 million
- Ripped another $146 million out of health prevention and eHealth programmes
- Continued Tony Abbott’s $1.3 billion hike in the price of essential medicines
- Continued Tony Abbott’s $267 million attack on the Medicare Safety Nets.
- Continued Tony Abbott’s $2 billion four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GP visits.
Malcolm Turnbull has proven that no matter who the leader is, the Liberals only ever see health as a source of Budget cuts, and will always look to make health less affordable for those who need it most – the sick and the poor.
Contrary to the claims made by the Finance Minister, the scrapping of the bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging will hurt patients.
Indeed, it could see those needing intensive treatment such as people suffering from cancer forced to pay significant out of pocket expenses, or miss out on lifesaving treatment altogether.
The gutting of the health workforce training programmes will lead to fewer and fewer doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals completing their training, especially impacting on already struggling regional areas.
The $146 million in cuts in the name of “more efficient” health programs will achieve the exact opposite and again betrays a government that has no interest in Medicare or quality health care.
Slashing prevention and eHealth will only add to health cuts from a government that has already cut hundreds of millions of dollars from existing programs in these areas.
And the Turnbull Liberal Government has recommitted to making essential medicine more expensive, continuing with the 2014 Budget measures to hike the PBS co-payment by $5 for general patients and $0.80 for concession card holders.
This is despite the Minister for Health promising in May that “I am not going to waste time putting things through the Parliament that are going to be voted down by my colleagues.”
Sussan Ley – Press Conference – 21 May 2015
The Turnbull Liberal Government is also continuing with the $267 million hit on some of Australia’s sickest people, by retaining the planned cuts to the Medicare Safety Nets, despite this being rejected by the Senate earlier this month.
Malcolm Turnbull has also retained the four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GP services, a measure designed to drive down bulk billing and drive up out of pocket costs for patients.
Once again, none of these cuts are being reinvested back into the health system. Once again this government is ripping billions out of health to prop up its failing Budget, making patients pay.
MYEFO confirms, yet again, only Labor can be trusted to defend Medicare and Medicare will never be safe under the Liberals, regardless of who the leader is.