Fremantle health costs soar under Liberals

Published on Mon 21 June 2021 9:32am

In the eight long years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government, the cost of accessing health care has soared across the federal electorate of Fremantle, and now Scott Morrison is using the cover of Victoria’s COVID outbreak to sneak in hundreds of changes to Medicare Benefit Schedule items that will increase cost and decrease access.

According to the latest Annual Medicare statistics unearthed by Labor in Senate Estimates, out-of-pocket costs for patients in the federal electorate of Fremantle have risen 21% for seeing GPs, and a whopping 54% to access specialist care on the Liberal’s watch.

Cutting Medicare is in the Liberals’ DNA and, but now Scott Morrison is forcing through almost 1,000 changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule from 1 July.

These changes will radically alter the cost of hundreds of orthopaedic, cardiac, and general surgery items, which could mean that patients with upcoming procedures will have to choose between cancelling life-improving surgery or being lumped with huge bills they were never told about.

This is the biggest attack on Medicare in decades – but it’s not the first. Whenever the Liberals get the chance, they try and cut Medicare. Tony Abbott tried it. Malcolm Turnbull tried it. And now Scott Morrison is trying it, too. They have racked up a trillion dollars in debt, wasted million on rorts and over-priced land deals for their mates, and now they will make all of us pay.

Australia’s healthcare system is the envy of the world. Universal healthcare is one of Australia’s greatest assets and guarantors of fairness – and it depends on the foundation of Medicare, the public health system that Labor built and that Labor will fight to defend.

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