Morrison doesn't give a RATs about concession card holders and pensioners

Federal member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has today expressed disappointment in the Federal government’s rollout of free rapid antigen tests (RATs) to concession card holders.

“Since he announced the program on January 5, Scott Morrison has had almost three weeks to organise this rollout, and yet, pensioners and other concession card holders still can’t get access to a RAT,” Ms Chesters said.

Under the program, which officially began on Monday, 6.6 million concession cardholders in Australia can access up to 10 free RATs over a three-month period.

“Scott Morrison has learnt nothing from his bungled vaccine rollout. Three years into this pandemic we still have a vaccine rollout and testing scheme that is plagued by supply issues.”

Reports released yesterday, suggest that some pharmacies are losing up to $7.50 on each rapid antigen test under the federal government’s concession cardholder scheme due to a shortage of stock.

“The current handling of the rollout has left pensioners worse off, concession card holders worse off and pharmacists worse off – it just isn’t good enough and it isn’t fair,” Ms Chesters said.

“These tests should be free and they should be accessible. Scott Morrison promised these RATs, but right now, they’re not here.”

Bendigo Community Pharmacist Sanjay Jhaveri said that his pharmacy has not handed out one RAT to concession holders since the program began on Monday.

“If we had RATs in stock, they would be flying out the door. But we don’t have the supply we need at the moment.”

“If the rollout had been better planned, we could have avoided these issues,” Mr Jhaveri said.