The Turnbull Government’s Health policy is now in tatters with the Minister for Health today confirming she opposes her own Government’s six year freeze on Medicare rebates for GPs.
In a devastating indictment of the Turnbull Government’s health cuts, the Minister for Health, Sussan Ley today told ABC Radio National:
I said to doctors I want that freeze lifted as soon as possible but I appreciate Finance and Treasury aren’t allowing me to do it just yet.
[ABC RADIO NATIONAL, 23 MAY 2016]
The Minister’s attack on the Medicare freeze comes a day after she also contradicted Mr Turnbull on her Government’s plan to hike prescription prices by $5 for general patients and 80 cents for concession card holders:
JOURNALIST: Do you plan to still have a $5 increase in the co-payment for general patients, 80 cents for concessional patients, and an increase in the PBS Safety net?
LEY: We will look at the policies after the election and I certainly recognise that in the medicine space, there are difficult decisions to make about the payments for medicines.”
[MELBOURNE DOORSTOP, 22 MAY 2016]
JOURNALIST: No change on medicines, Prime Minister? They’ll pay more under you?
TURNBULL: The co-payments with respect to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme as set out, we are committed to, yes. There is no change to that.
[SYDNEY DOORSTOP, 22 MAY 2016]
The Health Minister’s open revolt confirms the Turnbull Government’s health policy is now in tatters.
The Health Minister is now openly backing Labor’s plans to end the Liberals’ GP Tax by stealth, and the Turnbull Government’s plans to slug patients with higher prices for prescriptions.
Only a Shorten Labor Government will restore indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule from 1 January 2017.
Only a Shorten Labor Government will reverse Mr Turnbull’s cuts which will reduce bulk-billing and hit Australian families every time they visit the doctor.
Only a Shorten Labor Government will ensure all Australians will continue to have access to affordable medicines. This will protect access for the most vulnerable – the poor, elderly and sick – who would be the worst hit by the Liberals’ plans to cut the PBS.
The Liberals’ assault on Medicare and universal health care must stop.
All Australians should be able to access health care when and where they need it. Today’s events reinforce that only Labor can be trusted to make this happen.