Fiona Phillips

Bulk billing incentive cuts will hurt south coast patients

Bulk_billing_incentive_cuts_will_hurt_south_coast_patients_-_photo.JPG 

Illawarra MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, have today slammed the Government’s decision to scrap bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging.

 

 

 

Illawarra MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, have today slammed the Government’s decision to scrap bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging.

 

The surprise Mid-Year Budget decision, which caught health professionals completely off guard, will result in some patients avoiding vital tests which detect serious, life threatening conditions including cancer.

 

The scrapping of the incentives and other cuts will leave some patients between $62 and $173 worse off.

 

Today Stephen Jones and Fiona Phillips visited Southern IML Pathology in Kiama to learn more about why these bulk billing incentives are so important.

 

Stephen Jones said that the Government needed to reverse the cuts immediately.

 

“The Health Minister, Susan Ley, has admitted that some patients will be worse off as a result of this cruel MYEFO decision.

 

“Pathology tests and diagnostic imaging are vital to detecting diseases before they take hold, if people avoid them they may face a far more serious medical scenario down the track. So in the long run patient health with compromised, their healthcare needs will cost more and everyone will be worse off.”

 

“The reason Labor introduced these incentives was because we wanted to maintain or increase bulk billing rates, which were going backwards fast during the Howard years. This is a retrograde step that will hit vulnerable patients the hardest”.

 

Fiona Phillips said that low and middle income families on the South Coast should be concerned about these cuts.

“People under pressure to pay the bills will now face an impossible decision – do I avoid getting a blood test or diagnostic image that I actually need?

“When people on the South Coast need a blood test they come here to Southern IML, it is a high quality service that meets the needs of the region.

“But by taking away these bulk billing incentives, Ann Sudmalis and the rest of the federal Coalition team are making their job that much harder. Dr Alistair Lochead, the Medical Director here, and his hardworking team deserve better.

“Does Ms Sudmalis care? She should be standing up for her constituents who are set to pay more for these tests.”

MYEFO confirms, yet again, only Labor can be trusted to defend Medicare. The Coalition just can’t keep their hands off it and vulnerable patients are the ones who stand to lose the most.


TUESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 2015

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.