Labor health announcement vital for Bendigo and Central Victorian families and pensioners

Federal member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said today Labor will scrap Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to medicines and GP visits. This is a vital announcement for Bendigo and Central Victorian families and pensioners.


Lisa Chesters MP was joined this morning by locals to discuss how Labor’s healthcare announcement will benefit their household.

"Local families and pensioners cannot afford the price hikes in medicine and increased fees that the Liberals are forcing on to them. There are simply not the funds in their household budget to absorb these increases.

“Household incomes are on average much lower across the Bendigo electorate compared to inner city electorates. At the time of the last census, more than 28% of Bendigo households had a weekly household income of less than $600.

“I meet families and pensioners in this position every day and they tell me they are living week to week. The rising cost of healthcare is a real issue for them. Price hikes for basic healthcare will hurt many of these households,” said Ms Chesters.

A Shorten Labor Government will give a three-part guarantee that will ensure Medicare is protected for future generations.

Labor’s Medicare Guarantee includes:
1. Increase the Medicare Rebate to GPs taking the pressure off to raise fees and scrap bulk billing
2. Scrapping Mr Turnbull’s $5 increase in prescription costs
3. Legislating to ensure Medicare remains in public hands.
“Labor created Medicare, and we will always fight for it to remain a public, universal healthcare system,” said Ms Chesters.

Labor’s announcement to reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to the PBS and MBS will particularly help local families and pensioners on low and fixed incomes, as well as those with chronic illnesses.

For example, Labor's announcement means
-          The average family with two healthy kids will pay $412 less a year for essential healthcare
-          Healthcare costs for a low-income single parent pensioner who has diabetes and two teenage kids will be around $450 lower as a result of reversing these cuts.
-          A single pensioner aged over 65 who has heart disease will pay $270 less a year for medicines and visits to the GP.[1]

“There is a clear choice at this election.

“Under Malcolm Turnbull, every general Central Victorian patient will pay $5 more for each prescription of commonly used medicines that treat conditions like asthma, depression, high cholesterol, emphysema and nerve pain from diabetes.

“Under Labor, they won’t. Labor has a positive plan to protect Medicare for all Australians.

“Bendigo and Central Victorian families and pensioners care deeply about Medicare, PBS and the rising costs of healthcare.

“I’ve received over 2000 petition signatures rejecting the Liberal’s cuts to Medicare and price hikes to basic healthcare.

“Every Australian should continue to have access to affordable medicines and a GP that bulk bills,” said Ms Chesters.

Read more about Labor’s positive plan to stop the Liberal’s medicines price hike at: