BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS &
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR WILL SAVE BLOOD TEST BULK BILLING
A Shorten Labor Government will ensure vital blood tests are protected from Scott Morrison’s health cuts – investing $200 million to keep pathology tests free for older Australians and Australians with cancer.
Blood tests are the frontline of treatment for cancer and serious diseases. They are critical not only for diagnosis, but to track whether a treatment is working or not.
But under Scott Morrison, pathology is in crisis.
As treasurer, Scott Morrison tried to cut pathology by $650 million – and as
Prime Minister, he’s failed to do anything to ensure that these critical tests remain free.
Bulk billing for blood tests is at breaking point – cancer patients will either have to pay, or there will be a reduction in services.
That’s why Labor will invest $200 million to protect pathology and keep it free for vulnerable Australians.
We will work with the sector and lift the bulk billing incentive – the payment which keeps these services free – to save bulk billing for cancer patients and older Australians.
Older Australians will have around 20 million pathology tests a year – and Australians with cancer around three million pathology tests. Every single one of these tests is on the line this election – and only Labor will make sure every single one of these tests is free.
CEO of Australian Pathology, Liesel Wett, says that – “Without adequate funding, pathology services will be forced to stop bulk billing. This will impact unfairly on poorer Australians, including pensioners. Many will simply not be able to afford tests, which means diseases will get diagnosed later at a greater cost to taxpayers, and most importantly with a greater impact on the health outcomes of Australians.”
This investment builds on Labor’s Medicare Cancer Plan – our plan to support Australians battling cancer and cut their out-of-pocket costs.
Every Australian deserves quality health care when and where they need it – your bank balance or your postcode should not be barriers to whether you get access to the best health care.
Unfortunately under the Liberals’ savage cuts to Medicare, out-of-pocket costs have increased across the board for GP consultations, specialist consultations and critical cancer procedures.
Scott Morrison has cut $3 billion from the pockets of patients with his Medicare freeze and is trying to cut a further $2.8 billion out of public hospitals.
Labor will reverse the Liberals’ cuts to health, address rising out-of-pocket costs, and protect bulk billing for pathology.
The choice is clear – under Scott Morrison, Australians will have to pay for pathology. Under Labor, bulk billing for pathology will be protected.
TUESDAY, 16 APRIL 2019