The Turnbull Government must drop every single one of their health cuts in next week’s Budget, with Australia’s most senior medical officer highlighting the impact of growing out-of-pocket costs on universal access to health care.
In an address to a health industry forum, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said that out-of-pocket costs were the highest they have ever been:
“A more worrying statistic to me is that during this era of government cost control in recent years, the proportion of non-government expenditure, largely private individual expenditure on health – has risen to now be a third of all health expenditure… That’s a very worrying statistic and it plays into a concept of universal access.”
[BRENDAN MURPHY, CHOOSING WISELY AUSTRALIA NATIONAL MEETING, 4 MAY 2017]
Out-of-pocket costs have soared under the Turnbull Government’s Medicare freeze on GPs, specialists and allied health services. Across the MBS, the average patient contribution for Medicare has jumped $10 in only 3 years.
This is staggering evidence – Malcolm Turnbull must drop every single one of his health cuts, including immediately dropping his entire Medicare freeze which is impacting Australians when they visit a GP, when they visit an optometrist, and when they need specialist care such as oncology or psychiatry.
Medicare rebates for GPs, specialist consultations and procedures and allied health services haven’t been indexed since 2014. The bulk billing rate is falling because of Malcolm Turnbull’s Medicare freeze, and Australians are paying the price.
If Malcolm Turnbull does not drop every single health cut, effective July 1, then it will be an insult to the millions of Australians who voted against his unfair health policies and more evidence he will never get the impact of his cuts.
MBS Average Patient Contribution ($) per Service for Out of Hospital and Patient Billed Services by State/Territory
SATURDAY, 6 MAY 2017