Malcolm Turnbull’s plans to increase the cost of prescription medicines and drive up out-of-pocket health care costs have been confirmed in the release of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s report on unlegislated measures.
This update confirms that the Government still has plans to increase PBS co-payments for general patients and concession patients and cut millions out of Medicare Safety Nets.
Malcolm’s medicines hike will see every Australian pay more for essential medicines on the PBS – the biggest price increase for prescription medicine in a decade.
Pensioners and concession card holders will pay more than $7 for each script, an increase of 80 cents. Everyone else will pay an extra $5 for prescription medicine.
The more expensive medicine becomes, the less likely people are to fill their prescriptions. Around 1.8 million Australians already say they avoid filling prescriptions because of cost – this will only get worse.
In addition, Malcolm Turnbull is cutting the assistance Australians rely on to overcome serious and costly medical issues at different times in their lives, ripping millions from the Medicare Safety Nets. These cuts will see Australians paying more and more before extra support kicks in – and then they will receive a reduced amount.
Radiation oncologists have warned these proposed changes could double out of pocket expenses for cancer patients while IVF clinics have warned some women could be forced to give up their chance of having a child, or opt for riskier multiple embryo implants.
This is on top of the Government’s ongoing attacks on Medicare and basic health care – including the Medicare freeze which will drive up out-of-pocket costs to see a GP, and pathology and diagnostic imaging which will see Australians pay more for vital tests and scans.
Millions of Australians voted against these exact cuts at the last election – today’s report confirms that nothing has changed except the Minister in charge of these cuts.
TUESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2017