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Medicare is 'a medical and moral scandal' says Liberal candidate

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Dr Carmen Lawrence Minister for Human Services and Health Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women



CL 51/95 3 February 1996


The illusion of the Liberal Party's support for Medicare has been exposed again in an advertisement by John Howard's candidate for the seat of Fremantle, John Tiller.

In an advertisement appearing in The Fremantle Gazette, Dr Tiller says: "Medicare - promising "free care for all" - is now a medical and moral scandal."

"The cat is out of the bag," the Federal Minister for Human Services and Health, Carmen Lawrence, said in Perth today. "And that cat is the leopard that never changes its spots."

"It couldn’t be clearer. The Liberals would dismantle Medicare if elected.

"Here, in their own words, is the evidence that not only do the Liberals not have a real commitment to Medicare and public health, but they believe it should be "totally revamped" as Dr Tiller told the West Australian newspaper on Wednesday."

Dr Lawrence said Dr Tiller’s ad was the latest in a long series of statements by Liberal members and candidates contrary to the principles of Medicare, including:

* Brendan Nelson’s support for the abolition of bulk billing and a two tier Medicare levy;

* Michael Wooldridge's repeated refusal to condemn Jeff Kennett's massive health cuts and proposed hospital charges; and

* John Howard's comments when Leader last time, that Medicare was a "monster" and a "nightmare" and that he would "tear it apart".

The fact is Medicare is worth an average of $41 a week to every Australian family," Dr Lawrence said.

"It's too important to risk by handing over to John Howard and the Liberal Party.

"Their support for Medicare will last only as long as the election campaign."

Contact: Brenda Conroy 0412 414 781 (Canberra) Darren Foster 0412 486 625 (Perth)









In Medicare, are you One in a Million? Are y o u o n e o f th e 1 ,1 0 0 ,0 0 0 W estern

Australians w h o n o w h ave no private health cover and are at the m ercy o f the public system?

I f you are, y o u ’ll b e g lad to k n o w th a t 1,000 n e w p e o p le are Joining y o u e v e r y w e e k .

T h e y ’re d o in g it b e ca u se C a n b e rra is m a k in g it e v e r h a rd e r to affo rd p riv a te co v er. A n d this d riv es th e

m e d ic a re Dili u p qi3U,tivu,uuv a year.

Y e t C a n b e rra c u t its fu n d in g b y a th ird — c re a tin g

C a r m e n ’s C o rrid o r in o v e rc ro w d e d F r e m a n tle

H o sp ital, w h e re p a tie n ts w a it fo r tre a tm e n t.

T h a t’s w h y M ed icare - p ro m isin g “ fre e c a re fo r a ll” '

is n o w a m ed ical a n d m o ra l sca n d a l.

G iv e m e a c h a n c e to h e lp p u t th is r ig h t. j

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