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BAIRD BLOWS THE LID OFF MEDICARE PRIVATISATION AGENDA – WRITTEN BY Catherine King Federal Member for Ballarat Shadow Minister for Health

 

Friday, 11 March 2016

NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird has today exposed the Liberals’ agenda to privatise Medicare, with his plan to allow private insurers to move into general practice.
 
The Liberal plan to allow private health insurers into GP practices would mark the end of Medicare as a universal health insurance scheme.
 
It will create a two-tier Americanised health system where those with private cover receive preferential access, and pensioners, benefit card holders and others who cannot afford private insurance are relegated to a safety net system.
 
This would be disastrous for patients, but also be disastrous for the health Budget, pushing up GP Fees.
 
The previous Minister for Health also toyed with this proposal, allowing a trial of private health insurance in general practice in QLD which saw an administration fee paid and guaranteed appointments within 24 hours for private health insurance customers. 
 
This is the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to the destruction of our universal health care system and the government must immediately rule it out.
 
It’s no coincidence this latest Liberal attack on Medicare comes just weeks after Commonwealth Health department officials revealed at Senate Estimates the Turnbull Government has been working in secret for 18 months on plans to privatise the Medicare payments system.
 
In both cases, the Liberals have attempted to keep their privatisation agenda secret.
 
The Liberal move to create a two tier system for general practice was only revealed because of a NSW Labor Freedom of Information request. None of the tenders for the plan to privatise the Medicare payments system were listed on the official government AusTender website.
 
Today’s revelations confirm that after spending their first two years in office trying to kill Medicare by slashing $60 billion out of health, the Liberals are now spending 2016 trying to sell it.
 
It confirms yet again, that the Liberals cannot be trusted with health, and cannot be trusted with Medicare.
 
Australians deserve better than a Government which is determined to wreck Medicare and introduce a two tier Americanised health system where access to care is determined by wealth, not need.

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