Malcolm Turnbull has used his year as Prime Minister to prove he isn’t Tony Abbott – he is even worse.
Mr Turnbull has kept all of Tony Abbott’s health cuts from the 2014 Budget and added to them, ripping money out of vital blood tests, imaging scans and children’s dental services.
Malcolm Turnbull has also spent his first year trying to privatise the Medicare payments system and other parts of our universal public health insurance scheme, ignoring patients and experts and making health care even less affordable for millions of Australians.
The Prime Minister is now trying to outsource the National Cancer Screening Register to the private sector.
This would put Australians’ most sensitive health information – including their Medicare numbers and Medicare claims data – in the hands of a for-profit telecommunications corporation.
Nothing has been protected when it comes Malcolm’s year of health cuts. His record includes:
- Extending the freeze on Medicare rebates to six years – an ice age that is already forcing out-of-pocket costs up;
- Attempting to abolish the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, pushing five million children onto long public dental waiting lists;
- Ripping another $650 million out of Medicare by slashing bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology;
- Cutting another $182 million from crucial health programs tackling chronic and communicable diseases, drug and alcohol abuse, and rural health issues; and
- Gutting crucial health workforce training programmes with a $595 million cut.
Malcolm Turnbull said straight after the election that he had learned his lesson, but while his cuts to health remain, it is clear he has learnt nothing at all.
Malcolm Turnbull thinks the damaging health cuts are “so far, so good” for our health care system, while ordinary Australians are facing soaring health care costs. They tell the real story of the damage he has signed his name to as Prime Minister.
WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428 816 751
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