18 June 2016

A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Malcolm Turnbull's cuts to bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging.

In the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Mr Turnbull cut $650 million from Medicare for vital tests and scans.

Mr Turnbull's cuts come in spite of the overwhelming evidence that Labor's incentives are achieving their aim of maintaining or increasing bulk billing. In diagnostic imaging, for example, bulk billing rates rose 10 points in just six years thanks to Labor's measure.

Labor's measures give pathologists and radiologists a specific incentive to bulk bill. Without it, bulk billing will fall, co-payments will rise, and patients will be forced to pay more for tests and scans - or skip them altogether.

This would mean worse health outcomes for patients and higher costs to our health system. It is vital that patients are not turned away from care based on their ability to pay.

Only Labor will protect Medicare – ending the Liberals’ $20 a visit GP tax, reversing cuts to the Medicare Safety Nets and by legislating to keep Medicare in public hands in our first 100 days in office. Only Labor will keep medicines affordable through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The independent Parliamentary Budget Office has costed Labor’s policy of reversing Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts at $884.2 million over the forward estimates, and $2.9 billion over the decade to 2026-27.

If you want to save Medicare, vote Labor.

For more details on Labor’s positive plans, please visit:

SUNDAY, 19 JUNE 2016