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Fightback - Setting the record straight - Desperate men plan desperate tactics

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DR BOB WOODS/ - ^ SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTHF1GHTBACK - SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT DESPERATE MEN PLAN DESPERATE TACTICSBob Hawke is clearly getting desperate. Having failed to make any headway against any part of ,he "Fightback" package since its release, and realising that his job is in jeopardy, he today resorted to threats against our health package on the Sunday program.The Government has already been exposed for its scaremongering on Health issues. Brian Howe's $874 million error on Friday is surely the worst blunder of the Government so far, and exposes Minister Howe as incompetent. The Government's scaremongering campaign has been shown up for what it is,The ridiculous campaign started by Brian Howe last week about higher doctors' fees has been shown up for the nonsense that it is. Sadly it will only scare those in society who are most vulnerable, the pensioners and the disadvantaged.The reality is that those doctors who currently bulk bill or use Medicare Benefit Schedule rates will continue to use the schedule rates. Why should they change? They don't bulk bill out of love. They bulk bill because competition from nearby practices forces them to. That competition will still be there. If they increase their fees, they will simply go out of business.Our policy attacks waiting lists, restores viability to the private sector, improves efficiency, reduces wastage, and allows insurance cover to protect against potentially crippling medical fees. Most importantly it abolishes the current 2 tier health system by giving aged pensioners access to free private health insurance.Under the current Government, waiting lists will get longer, the private sector is barely viable, inefficiency and wastage is running rife, medical insurance is actually illegal and pensioners languish for months or years on waiting lists in pain and agony.Since "Fightback" was launched Minister Brian Howe has declined my challenge to a debate three times. In view of the Prime Minister's statement today I look forward to comparing our vitally important restructuring of the health system with the floundering of the Government.After all, it was Brian Howe who said in June this year, that Medicare in its present form was "unsustainable" and that since then, the Government has only tinkered at its edges.1st December 1991 CO.'.iiviO.N VV EALTHPARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M ICAHFur further information contact: Dr Bob Woods or Leisa O'Connor (02) 745 3200. After hours Dr Woods (02) 744 1872.Leisa O'Connor (02) 797 6233