Nancy and Stan Eggins sign a petition at the 'Save Medicare' rally in Grafton on Saturday, 7th May, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Nancy and Stan Eggins sign a petition at the 'Save Medicare' rally in Grafton on Saturday, 7th May, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

Labor rallies to stop ‘attacks’ on Medicare

LABOR'S Rural and Regional Health spokesman Stephen Jones and the party's candidate for Page Janelle Safin have called on the Federal Government to end their attacks on Medicare.

Speaking ahead of a Save Our Medicare rally in Grafton on Saturday, Mr Jones said that Tuesday's Budget contained nasty surprises for patients in rural and regional Australia.

Who will you vote for in the electorate of Page?

This poll ended on 10 May 2016.

Current Results

Kevin Hogan - National

32%

Janelle Saffin - Labor

54%

Kudra Falla-Ricketts - Greens

9%

Other

3%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"On Tuesday Scott Morrison announced that the Medicare rebate freeze will be extended to 2020," he said.

"Research prepared by the University of New South Wales shows that GPs will need to slug their patients with a $14 GP tax to make up for losses caused by these changes.

"This latest assault on Medicare will have a particularly harsh impact on healthcare in places like Grafton. In rural and regional Australia many GP practices already operate on tight margins and struggle to make ends meet.

"Bulk billing rates are lower and more people are admitted to hospital for problems that could have been dealt with by their GP.

"The Government needs to scrap its new $14 GP Tax and start listening to regional Australia."

Ms Saffin said that the Turnbull-National Government wanted a user-pays system for Medicare.

"Once we could have relied on our Medicare card, but soon we'll be relying on our credit card and this has to end," she said.

"The cuts to bulk billing incentives for blood tests and pathology mean that families in Page will avoid getting tests that could save their life.

"The reality is that the Nationals are not defending these basic services, not defending the schools and hospitals of regional Australia. Instead the Liberals play the tune and the Nationals dance."

Ms Saffin also said that the Coalition's cuts to dental care must end.

Labor shadow minister for Regional Health and Comminications Stephen Jones, Hilda Perason and Page Federal candidate Janelle Saffin are at the 'Save Medicare' rally in Grafton on Saturday, 7th May 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Labor shadow minister for Regional Health and Comminications Stephen Jones, Hilda Perason and Page Federal candidate Janelle Saffin are at the 'Save Medicare' rally in Grafton on Saturday, 7th May 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak


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