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Labor's new deal to save Medicare.



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ROGER PRICE MP Federal Member for Chifley

MEDIA RELEASE

19th May 2003

LABOR’S NEW DEAL TO SAVE MEDICARE

Labor’s New Deal for Medicare will ensure that all Australians have better access to bulk billing regardless of how much they earn or where they live, according to the Federal Member for Chifley, Roger Price MP.

The $1.9 billion rescue package would see the Medicare rebate for all bulk billed consultations rise by $3.35 or 95% of the scheduled fee. This would be followed in 2006 by an increase to $5 per bulk billed consultation, or the equivalent of 100% of the scheduled fee.

“Australians have the best health care system in the world in Medicare, but without bulk billing there is no Medicare”, Mr. Price said.

“Labor has provided Australians with a clear choice. Only Labor will maintain bulk billing for all Australians. The Government’s plan will transform a quality universal healthcare system into a two-tier user pays scheme where only the poor and the elderly are guaranteed access to bulk billing”.

Under the plan, doctors in outer-metropolitan areas like Chifley will receive an additional $15,000 each year for bulk billing 75% or more of their patients. That means local families will find it easier to locate a bulk-billing doctor.

Labor will also provide far more GPs in the areas that need them most and more nurses to assist GPs in their work.

“Lifting the patient rebate and introducing substantial financial incentives to doctors will help stop the dramatic decline in bulk billing”, Mr. Price said.

“It’s a positive move to take pressure off Australian families. A miserly $4 tax cut is not enough”.

Ends Contact Darren Flynn on (02) 9625 4344 or 0417 416 144.