Bulk billing under attack by Abbott Liberals
The Tasmanian Greens today warned that the Federal Liberal government’s move on bulk-billing doctor visits will impact on many Tasmanians’ ability to access health services.
Greens Health spokesperson Paul O’Halloran MP challenged the state Liberal Health Shadow Jeremy Rockliff, to stand up and oppose Tony Abbott’s proposed wind back of the bulk billing system.
“While Barack Obama seems to be moving the US health care system closer to the universal access Australian model, Tony Abbott is threatening to move the Australia closer to the flawed pay for service American model,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“The broken US model is twice the per capita cost of Australia’s public health system, and yet is only available to those who can afford to pay.”
“The Abbott Liberal government is considering to replace bulk-billed free visits to the doctor with a $5 co-payment. This comes on top of Mr Abbott’s Christmas present announcement of the biggest increase to the cost of private health insurance.”
“Tasmanians will be particularly affected by this attack on Medicare.”
“State Liberal Health spokesperson Jeremy Rockliff needs to be upfront and come clean on exactly how this additional cost burden being considered by his federal colleagues will impact on Tasmanians and their families.”
“By placing this financial disincentive for patients to visit local GPs, this risks placing further pressure on hospital emergency departments, or risks people just going without necessary medical treatment at all.”
“Tasmanians cannot afford a shift to a US-style system, our health system cannot afford people trying to avoid medical treatment in the short-term, and Mr Rockliff needs to tell his federal counterparts that this meddling with the bulk billing system is not on,” Mr O’Halloran said.