ONE YEAR OF MALCOLM TURNBULL: A YEAR OF HEALTH AND MEDICARE CUTS – By Catherine King Federal Member for Ballarat Shadow Minister for Health

CATHERINEKINGMP

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Malcolm Turnbull has used his year as Prime Minister to prove he isn’t Tony Abbott – he is even worse.
 
Mr Turnbull has kept all of Tony Abbott’s health cuts from the 2014 Budget and added to them, ripping money out of vital blood tests, imaging scans and children’s dental services.
 
Malcolm Turnbull has also spent his first year trying to privatise the Medicare payments system and other parts of our universal public health insurance scheme, ignoring patients and experts and making health care even less affordable for millions of Australians.

The Prime Minister is now trying to outsource the National Cancer Screening Register to the private sector.

This would put Australians’ most sensitive health information – including their Medicare numbers and Medicare claims data – in the hands of a for-profit telecommunications corporation.

Nothing has been protected when it comes Malcolm’s year of health cuts. His record includes:
 

  • Extending the freeze on Medicare rebates to six years – an ice age that is already forcing out-of-pocket costs up;
  • Attempting to abolish the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, pushing five million children onto long public dental waiting lists;
  • Ripping another $650 million out of Medicare by slashing bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology;
  • Cutting another $182 million from crucial health programs tackling chronic and communicable diseases, drug and alcohol abuse, and rural health issues; and
  • Gutting crucial health workforce training programmes with a $595 million cut.

 
Malcolm Turnbull said straight after the election that he had learned his lesson, but while his cuts to health remain, it is clear he has learnt nothing at all.

Malcolm Turnbull thinks the damaging health cuts are “so far, so good” for our health care system, while ordinary Australians are facing soaring health care costs. They tell the real story of the damage he has signed his name to as Prime Minister.

WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428 816 751

LABOR WILL FIGHT FOR CHILDREN’S DENTAL CARE

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Labor will oppose the Government’s axing of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), standing up against Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to force over five million children onto long public dental waiting lists.

In Government, Labor established the CDBS in response to alarming evidence about the oral health of Australian children. The CDBS provides eligible children with up to $1,000 in dental services every two years, with a strong focus on preventive care.

Today, Labor protects the Child Dental Benefits Scheme by removing it from the Government’s Omnibus legislation.

The Government’s own Health Department says the CDBS has been a success, with the only failure being the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s refusal to promote it.

Labor’s National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Adult Public Dental Services has also helped states and territories provide public dental services to eligible adults. As the Government admits, the NPA has funded treatment for an additional 400,000 patients.

But now, the Government wants to scrap these proven programs and establish its own Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme (caPDS).

If implemented, the caPDS would force over five million children onto long public dental waiting lists. This will prevent families from seeing the dentist of their choice, and lengthen waiting times for children and the adults who are already entitled to public dental services.

As the National Oral Health Alliance has noted, caPDS funding would allow eligible patients to be seen just once every 17 years. People in rural and remote areas would be even worse off, given a shortage of public dental clinics.

The Government’s caPDS would also allow States and Territories to charge co-payments for public dental care. This is just another attempt to shift costs onto patients by the Government that gave us the GP Tax and now the Medicare rebate freeze – a co-payment by stealth.

The Government’s plan to axe the CDBS and NPA will save $52 million over four years. Labor is prepared to work with the Government to deliver the same quantum of dental savings while protecting patients.

But Labor will not stand by while the Government axes the effective CDBS and NPA and forces children onto long dental waiting lists.

TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2016

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OPINION BY WINSTON CLOSE

MEDICARE WILL NEVER BE SAFE UNTIL WE KICK THE SATANIC LNP TO POLITICAL OBLIVION , NEVER , EVER TO RETURN.
SIMPLY ,THEY ARE NOT FIT TO BE PART OF THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE OF AUSTRALIA.

WE MUST KEEP IN MIND THAT THE LNP IS MADE UP OF PSYCHOPATHS AND SOCIOPATHS.

FOR AUSTRALIA TO BE SAFE WE MUST KICK THEM TO POLITICAL OBLIVION NEVER TO RETURN. THEY ARE ROTTEN TO THE CORE MORALLY BANKRUPT.

THEY KEEP SENDING JOBS OVERSEAS WHILE ENGAGED IN A RUTHLESS WAR ON AUSTRALIANS.

THEY HAVE A TRADITION OF TREACHERY  AND DECEIT AND COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR THE NEEDS OF AUSTRALIANS.

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