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Liberals boast about Australians struggling to afford health care



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CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

LIBERALS BOAST ABOUT AUSTRALIANS STRUGGLING TO AFFORD HEALTH CARE

The Liberals’ boasts about new Medicare statistics show just how out-of-touch they are, with patients struggling to afford the cost of basic health care under Turnbull.

In the last three months of 2017, Australians paid an average out-of-pocket fee of $34.55 to see a GP - and up to $44.90 in some states and territories.

Out-of-pocket fees to see specialists were more than twice as high, with an average national cost of $71.75 - rising to $86 in some jurisdictions.

As a result of these fees, official Bureau of Statistics figures show that 1 million Australians delay or avoid seeing their GP each year due to cost, with another 1.7 million Australians skipping specialist appointments.

Yet the Liberals claim that “Medicare has never been stronger”.

In fact, Turnbull is so out-of-touch that he is yet to lift any part of his Medicare freeze. Rebates for GPs, specialists and allied health services all remain frozen, and the freeze won’t be fully lifted until 2020.

As a result of this freeze, Turnbull is cutting $2.2 billion out of Medicare over the next four years - on top of the savings he has already banked.

Whether it’s making Medicare more expensive, cutting public hospitals or putting health insurance profits before patients - Turnbull can never be trusted on health.

Labor created Medicare, and only Labor will ensure that Australians can access the health care they deserve.

TUESDAY, 6 MARCH 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: ANDREW GARRETT 0412 300 994