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Was that a 'rock solid, iron clad' guarantee on the PBS, Minister?



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JULIA GILLARD M.P.

Shadow Minister for Health

WAS THAT A

‘ROCK SOLID, IRON CLAD’ GUARANTEE ON THE PBS, MINISTER?

Yesterday, after announcing a plan to rip $850 million a year out of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the Minister for Health promised:

“There is absolutely no risk that people will miss out on the drugs they need”, Tony Abbott, press conference, 6 December 2005.

Well, we have heard that one before:

“I absolutely guarantee that the safety net, as the government has put it into operation, will continue. I absolutely guarantee that”, Tony Abbott, press conference, 16 September 2005.

And this:

“This government does not believe in cutting health spending”, Tony Abbott, press conference, 16 September 2005.

Unfortunately, due to his shameful record on telling the truth and breaking promises, Tony Abbott’s word doesn’t mean much.

Unfortunately, no one in the Australian community is comforted by a promise from Tony ‘rock solid, iron clad’ Abbott about the future of our health system.

Tony Abbott has effectively delivered an empty promise to millions of Australians who rely on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to access vital medicines.

This week the National Health Amendment (Medicare Safety nets) Bill 2005 comes before the Senate in preparation for the increased thresholds which will apply after January 1, despite Tony Abbott’s ‘rock solid iron clad’ guarantee at the last election.

At least 1 million Australians are set to miss out on benefits after 1 January, including 800,000 low income people as a result of Tony Abbott’s broken promise on the Medicare Safety net.

7 DECEMBER 2005 CONTACT: Kimberley Gardiner 0401 533

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