SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND MENTAL HEALTH
MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN
HEALTHCARE COSTS AND WAITING TIMES UP AGAIN UNDER MORRISON
The cost of seeing a doctor continues to rise under the Liberals, prompting millions of Australians to delay care or seek it in already overstretched hospital emergency departments.
The latest Productivity Commission Report on Government Services provides yet more evidence that the Morrison Government just doesn’t care about the health of Australians.
Scott Morrison cut from health in every Budget he authored as Treasurer. These are some of the inevitable results of those cuts.
The report reveals Australians are spending on average $357 a year to see their local doctor – up from $325 when the Liberals took office in 2013.
That has led to more than 1 million Australians delaying a doctor’s visit – or putting off filling a prescriptions – because they can’t afford it.
It’s also contributing to avoidable hospital presentations, where people who should have seen a GP went to the emergency department instead.
The report also confirms that nearly 30 per cent of Australians who did go to the ED were not seen within clinically-recommended times. Australia’s elective surgery waiting list is also blowing out, with 866,363 people added to the national waiting list but only 748,091 coming off it in 2017-18.
The report also exposes the Morrison Government’s lie that it’s putting more money into public hospitals. Per capita spending has in fact not increased at all.
And for all the talk of record investment in mental health by this government, the Productivity Commission report shows that real expenditure on mental health by the Commonwealth has fallen in the last year.
This Government continues to develop mental health policy with a piecemeal approach, while Australians living with mental ill health need real reform.
Only Labor has a plan to restore the hospital funding cut by the Liberals with our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund.
Only Labor has a plan to rein in costs by scrapping the Liberals’ Medicare rebate freeze and capping private health insurance increases.
Only Labor can be trusted on health.
WEDNESDAY, 30 JANUARY 2019