Medicare co-payments an attack on our most vulnerable

The ACT Legislative Assembly will write to the Federal Government to request that they withdraw their proposal to introduce Medicare co-payments following a motion from ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury.

“Free, universal access to quality healthcare is a mainstay of our Australian society,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“The Federal Government’s budget proposal to require $7 Medicare co-payments for all GP visits, pathology tests and diagnostic imaging - around 70% of services,  is a burden on the poor, the young, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses who can least afford to get sick.

“Over 50% of GP visits in Canberra are bulk billed.  These people, some of the most vulnerable in our community, will now be expected to provide a total of around extra five million dollars annually through individual co-payments.

“Medicare is one of the great Australian public policy success stories. It may not be perfect but for 30 years it has delivered healthcare fairly and efficiently.

“All Australians are entitled to high quality health care, regardless of the size of their wallet or whether they are unlucky enough to be born with a chronic disease.

“The Federal Government has effectively decided that when it comes to your health, your credit card is much more important than your Medicare card.

“The Greens believe that your health should never be determined by your bank balance and that’s why we are standing up for Medicare and will fight to protect it.

Statement ends