Labor will stand up for families in the Hunter electorate by opposing Tony Abbott’s new attack on Medicare Mr Fitzgibbon said today.

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.

Labor will always stand up for Medicare and Australian families and 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’s GP Tax and cuts to Health are cruel broken promises that will hurt vulnerable Australians.

Tony Abbott told the Australian people before the election there would be “no cuts to health”.

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 Hunter 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, and that’s on top of the $1.3 billion he wants you to pay for medicines over the next four years. 

If Tony Abbott gets his way, for patients in the Hunter electorate the cost of medicines will rise to $42.70 and for concessional patients the cost will be $6.90.

Local health and hospital services will get less as part of a major cut to public hospitals, leading to an increase in emergency department waiting times, elective surgery waiting times, and reduce the number of hospital beds.

“This is yet another attack on the people of Hunter, Mr Fitzgibbon said today.
“Families in Hunter 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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