Standing up for Canberra

Labor investment in bulk-billing needed to blunt GP Tax by stealth

Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann has welcomed ACT Labor’s $1 million dollar commitment to improving access to bulk-billing doctors in South Canberra if re-elected.

“Without this capital grant from the ACT Government, the already low levels of access to bulk-billing practices in Tuggeranong and the Molonglo Valley would slide further under the Turnbull Government’s GP Tax by stealth,” Ms Brodtmann said.

“Medicare quarterly statistics reveal that bulk-billing rates for the ACT are amongst the lowest in the country.

“Nowhere is the drought of bulk-billing options more acute than in Canberra’s south.

“A lack of access puts affordable healthcare out of reach for many Canberrans, and we know what happens when healthcare becomes unaffordable.

“Health conditions deteriorate and people end up admitted to hospital, leading to worse outcomes for the patient and greater costs for the health system.

“One in 20 Australians already say they delay visiting their GP, or do not visit at all, because of cost.

“The Turnbull Government’s decision to freeze the indexation of the rebates paid to doctors for six years makes the need for affordable, accessible healthcare in Canberra all the more vital.

“This welcome commitment from the ACT Labor Government is a reflection of the Labor Party’s strong belief in the fundamental right for all Australians to be able to access healthcare – when and where they need it.”