Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

GP Cuts

Having failed to win support in the Senate for his GP Tax through legislation, Tony Abbott is now seeking to destroy Medicare via the back door, by slashing Medicare rebates and forcing doctors to hike fees and end bulk-billing.

“In an area where 93% of current doctor visits are bulk-billed, it’s going to hit Lalor the hardest” said Ms Ryan.

I met late last year with several local GP practice managers. They outlined the potential impact on their doctor’s practices. There is a real fear that in this area with so many young families, high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions, that many will postpone doctors’ visits that could keep them well and out of hospital.

Labor will always stand up for Medicare and Australian families. At the first opportunity we will vote in the Senate to overturn his $20 cut for shorter consultations and $5 across the board cut for general patients.

Tony Abbott told the Australian people before the election there would be “no cuts to health”. Tony Abbott’s GP Tax and cuts to Health are cruel broken promises that will hurt vulnerable Australians.

He broke that promise in his very first Budget, slashing more than $50 billion from hospitals and seeking to introduce a $7 GP Tax on every visit to the doctor.

When he couldn’t get any support for his GP Tax, he tried to sneak it in through the backdoor over the Christmas break, trying to force doctors to end cut bulk billing and make [Electorate] families pay up to $20 more every time they see a doctor.

Tony Abbott’s own budget papers show these cuts will force Australian families to pay an extra $3.5 billion in doctors’ fees. That’s approximately $11million in this electorate alone.

And if Tony Abbott gets his way, the cost of medicines on the PBS will rise to $42.70 and for concessional patients the cost will be $6.90.

The Mercy Hospital is already making do with less as part of the major cuts to public hospitals.

These cuts will increase emergency department waiting times, increase elective surgery waiting times, and reduce the number of hospital beds.

“Families in Lalor who are already struggling to make ends meet cannot afford Tony Abbott’s attack on Medicare.”

“Labor will continue to fight any attempt by this government to dismantle Medicare and end bulk billing.”


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