11 October 2016

Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that Medicare will never be safe under the Liberals, voting in Parliament against a guarantee to keep it in public hands.

In an extraordinary admission that the Liberals’ attacks on our health system are only beginning, not a single Liberal MP was prepared to stand up and vote for Labor’s motion in Parliament to keep Medicare in public hands.

Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann said that locals know the impact of this Government’s cuts, with out-of-pocket GP costs soaring almost 20 per cent since the Liberals were elected in 2013.

“The vote against Labor’s motion in Parliament yesterday is just more proof that the Liberals are committed as ever to gutting our health care system and forcing Australians to pay more for health care.”

Yesterday, Liberal MPs voted against:

  • A guarantee to keep Medicare in public hands as a universal health insurance scheme for all Australians;
  • A guarantee to protect bulk billing so that every Australian can see their doctor when they need to and not only when they can afford to; 
  • To reverse his harmful cuts to Medicare by unfreezing the indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule; 
  • To reverse his cuts to pathology that will mean Australians with cancer will pay more for blood tests;  
  • To reverse his cuts to breast screening, MRIs, X-rays and other diagnostic imaging which will mean Australians will pay more for vital scans;
  • To abandon his plans to make all Australians, even pensioners, pay more for vital medicines; and 
  • To develop a long-term agreement to properly fund our public hospitals so Australians don't languish in our emergency departments or on long waiting lists for important surgery.

“At least 27 times during the election campaign, Malcolm Turnbull said that he would never outsource Medicare – but the truth was revealed today when he couldn’t bring himself to guarantee that it would be kept in public hands.

“People in Ipswich and the Somerset Region deserve better – they simply can’t afford more cuts from this Government, and Labor will continue to fight to protect Medicare and put pressure on the Government to drop each and every one of these cuts.”