Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the introduction of Medicare- the heart and soul of our universal health care system and the envy of many countries around the world.
This is a good time to reflect on the role of Medicare in ensuring people can access life-saving treatment when they need it. It’s also a reminder of the need to ensure that access to health care is determined by an individual’s Medicare card – not their ability to pay.
The fact is that under Malcolm Turnbull, Australians are paying more out of their own pocket for Medicare services than ever before.
We don’t want our health care system to go down the path of America’s, where an individual’s capacity to pay determines whether they get the treatment they need.
8.7 million Australians have been born since the inception of Medicare – a generation who have grown up with world-class universal health care. In 33 years there have been 7.2 billion services under Medicare, including 2.3 billion GP services and 198 million operations.
Unfortunately, all of this progress is under jeopardy because of the health cuts under this Government.
Labor is today launching an online portal for Australians to submit their experiences with Medicare – mymedicarestory.com. This is in response to feedback from Australians about serious delays in Medicare processing under this Government, with some people reporting six week delay in getting their refund.
We know that because of this Government's cuts to vital services some people are falling through the cracks. We want to know when that happens, so we can help ensure our health care system is strengthened now and in the future.
Labor will never stop fighting to protect Medicare from Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals. Today there is a clear message for Malcolm Turnbull - give Medicare the best birthday present by dropping the savage cuts to health which will see bulk billing drop, every Australian pay more and Medicare undermined.
WEDNESDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2017