Families in Hunter will be among the hardest hit by Tony Abbott’s new attack on Australia’s health system, Joel Fitzgibbon said today.

Last night’s Budget has confirmed families across Hunter will be hit by a GP Tax, Hospital Tax, Cuts to Hospital Services and more expensive medicines.

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: ‘We will be a no surprises, no excuses government’. Tony Abbott promised the Australian people: ‘We are about reducing taxes, not increasing taxes. We are about getting rid of taxes, not imposing new taxes’.

Tony Abbott has broken his promise that there will be no new taxes, with a $7 GP Tax.  A tax that will cost Hunter families $5,682,173 in out of pocket costs to visit the doctor next year alone.  A hit on the most vulnerable Australians.

Despite every health expert advising against it, the Abbott Government is pushing ahead with a GP Tax that will put more pressure on Australia’s hospital system, leave families out of pocket and lead to much worse health outcomes.

Tony Abbott’s own budget papers show he will also force Australian families to pay an extra $1.3 billion for medicines over the next four years.  For Hunter patients the cost of medicines will rise to $42.70 and for concessional patients the cost will be $6.90.

NSW health and hospital services will get $1.16 billion less as part of a major cut to public hospitals.

These cuts will increase emergency department waiting times, increase elective surgery waiting times, and reduce the number of hospital beds across Hunter.   “This is yet another example of the Prime Minister’s twisted budget priorities,” Shadow Minister for Health Ms King said.

“This Federal Budget represents a number of clear broken promises by Tony Abbott to the people of Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon said today. “Families in Hunter who are already struggling to make ends meet cannot afford to pay to take their sick child or elderly parent to the doctor.”

“Labor will continue to fight any attempt by this government to dismantle universal healthcare in Australia.”

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