CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
SENATOR MURRAY WATT
LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR FORDE
MORRISON’S MEDICARE FREEZE STILL HURTING GOLD COAST
Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders are skipping the specialist care they need as doctors abandon bulk-billing because of Scott Morrison’s continuing Medicare freeze.
As Treasurer, Scott Morrison extended the Liberals’ Medicare freeze by another two years to 2020, cutting another $925 million from Medicare.
The freeze on specialist procedures will remain in place until July 2019 and a further 100 GP items will remain frozen until July 2020 – forcing up out-of-pocket costs for ordinary Australians.
Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King and Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt heard about the impact of these cuts when they visited Corbett Neurophysiology Services on the Gold Coast on Friday.
After providing bulk-billed specialist EEG services for over 20 years, Professor John Corbett has recently been forced to cease providing these services – because of the Government’s ongoing freeze.
That means higher costs for patients – and it explains why an estimated 340,000 Queenslanders are skipping specialist care every year, according to figures provided in Senate estimates.
Across the four federal Gold Coast seats of Fadden, Moncrieff, McPherson and Forde, 46,000 people are skipping specialist care every year with average out-of-pocket costs for an appointment up to $75.
And 26,000 people are skipping GP visits, faced with an average $37 out-of-pocket fee.
In the electorate of Fadden – held by Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert – more than 12,000 people are skipping specialist care every year as the average out-of-pocket cost soars to $71.50.
The people of Fadden also pay average out of pocket costs of $36 to see a GP. As a result, an estimated 6800 Fadden residents skip seeing a GP every year.
A Shorten Labor Government will end the Liberals’ six-year Medicare freeze, to address rising out-of-pocket costs and keep health care affordable.
Labor created Medicare and only Labor will ensure that the people of Queensland – and all Australians – can access the health care they deserve.
FRIDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2018