Less than 24 hours after Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget revealed Australians will be paying more for health for years to come, the Government’s pathetic attempt to distract from billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare has unravelled.
Key stakeholders have condemned delays to lift the freeze, insufficient funding and broken promises:
“The staged lifting of the freeze in the Budget does mean that many families on average incomes still face the risk of co-payment increases they can ill afford for at least another year.”
[CONSUMERS HEALTH FORUM, MEDIA STATEMENT, 9/5/17]
“We would’ve liked to have seen full indexation from 1 July this year.”
[AMA PRESIDENT MICHAEL GANNON, DOORSTOP, 9/5/17]
“The small and incremental increases to the Medicare bulk billing incentive and Medicare rebate hardly amount to what you could call a removal of the freeze… this is a crushing blow for general practice in NSW”[AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (NSW), MEDIA STATEMENT, 9/5/17]
“Our patients need indexation for all imaging services now, not in three years. This is not a sustainable solution for diagnostic imaging.”
[THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGISTS, MEDIA STATEMENT, 10/5/17]
“The Government has broken its promise… Too bad if you are pregnant and need an ultrasound, have a brain tumour and need an MRI or require a PET scan to assess the extent of your cancer – or any one of hundreds of other vital radiology services. There’s no relief.”
[AUSTRALIAN DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING ASSOCIATION, MEDIA STATEMENT, 9/5/17]
The Budget doesn’t lie – billions are being cut out of Medicare and no amount of smoke and mirrors can hide this.
The Government’s failure to drop every one of their health cuts is an insult to Australians relying on Medicare and proof they haven’t listened, don’t care, and can’t be trusted when it comes to health.