Labor is happy to look at sensible reforms to Medicare, but Australians are right to be deeply suspicious about the motives of a government which has already ripped more than $60 billion from health, and sought to slug them with a tax every time they visit the doctor.
The Turnbull Government has confirmed that instead of reinvesting savings back into health and improving Medicare, its “review” will be used to prop up the Budget.
“We will also reinvest back into the government’s bottom line.”
Sussan Ley, Sky Newsday, 28 September 2015
In Government, Labor commenced the process of reviewing and updating Medicare, working with the medical profession to improve the quality and safety of Medicare, and where savings were realised, they were reinvested back into the health system.
By contrast, instead of working with clinicians the Turnbull Government has sidelined the medical profession and continues to rip billions out of the health system with a further $2 billion in health cuts in the Mid Year Budget Review.
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.
- Continued Tony Abbott’s $800 million in cuts to health flexible funds.
- Continued Tony Abbott’s $60 billion in cuts to public hospitals
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.