I am proud Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world – not only are our outcomes significantly better, but our spending as a percentage of GDP is lower than the worldwide average.
Yet the Abbott-Turnbull Government is determined to see the Americanisation of our universal health system. The US healthcare system is famously unfair, costs more and doesn’t meet the majority of the population’s health needs.
Medicare is under attack from this Liberal Government.
In the last 3 years, the Coalition Government has:
- Attempted to introduce co-payments for GP visits, prescriptions and specialist visits and radiotherapy
- Frozen the Medicare Rebate meaning GPs are going to have to charge more for visits
- Cut $29 million over the next five years from central Victorian hospitals
- Cut funding for important tests and scans such as X-Rays, Ultra Sounds, Pap Smears and Blood Tests
That is why I undertook a series of hearings across the electorate in late 2016 to understand what health care users, professionals and stakeholders think about the current health care system.
The Bendigo Electorate’s Save Medicare report is the result of the hearings, as well as a survey and research undertaken across the Bendigo electorate.
The findings from our Save Medicare forums are alarming and show that immediate action is required by the Liberal Government. Mr Turnbull needs to reverse his cuts to health and properly fund our public hospitals.
Most pressingly, it is clear that the Bendigo electorate urgently needs the Medicare Rebate to be unfrozen to address the sky-rocketing cost of primary health care.
Key figures from the report
- In our Medicare survey, 87 per cent of people believed that cost of health care has gone up in the last 12 months.
- 40 per cent said they had delayed seeing a doctor because of price.
- 100 per cent of people said they believed the Government should protect Australia's universal health care system.
- The average out of pocket cost for patients from a sample of 23 Bendigo GP clinics was $21.
- Out of the 23, only four bulk billed for non-concessions and 11 bulk billed for concessions.
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To read Lisa’s speeches on this and other issues, click here