Reports today that the Turnbull Government is attempting to pick and choose which parts of their six-year Medicare freeze to fix shows that they simply can’t be trusted on health.
Australians sent this Government a clear message at the election – lift the freeze. Medical professionals have been clear about the damage it is doing – only yesterday the Australian Medical Association repeated their call for the freeze to be lifted immediately, for both GPs and specialists.
If the Government’s six year freeze on GPs, specialists consultations and procedures and allied health professionals is not immediately lifted on Budget night, it will be yet another blow to our hard working medical professionals and more evidence of how little this Government listens.
In addition, there are more reports today that Malcolm Turnbull is set to dump his election promise to unfreeze rebates for diagnostic imaging.
This is proof that this deal was nothing more than a cynical ploy from the Government to buy silence, and they never intended to deliver on the commitment. At the same time, Turnbull is still planning to make Australians pay more for scans, x-rays and blood tests in two months’ time.
In addition, of course more affordable medicine for Australians is welcome – so why is the Government persisting with its plan to make medicines more expensive by increasing the PBS co-payment and making it harder for patients to reach the safety net?
The fact is that nothing can be done to reverse the years of damage that have been inflicted under this Government, and this will have an ongoing impact on families.
Out of pocket costs have never been higher, bulk billing rates have dropped and Australians are waiting longer for surgery.
Australians who will continue to pay more to see a doctor, more for vital scans and x-rays, and who will and wait longer in emergency rooms are proof that this Government can never be trusted to put health first.
SATURDAY, 22 APRIL 2017