Reversing Medicare freeze supports affordable healthcare for all Australians

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has welcomed a pledge by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to end the freeze on Medicare rebates if Labor is elected to government.

“This decision would ensure bulk-billing and affordable health care for all Australians via policy, rather than counting on market forces to deliver it by chance,” AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven said.

“Affordable and accessible health care must be front and centre this election, and Labor’s pledge to end the Medicare freeze is welcome.”

The reversal of the rebate freeze from 1 January 2017 would apply to all services provided by GPs, specialists and allied and other health practitioners.

“Continuing the freeze on Medicare will hit disadvantaged Australians the hardest, fostering inequality in the health system,” Ms Verhoeven said.

“We welcome this policy decision from Labor but urge all parties this campaign to recognise the importance of maintaining a healthy Australia supported by the best possible health system.

“The AHHA has called for better funding for public hospitals and public dental care to ensure all Australians can access a true world-class public health system and not a two-tiered system where the well-off can purchase high quality care while the less fortunate are left on long waiting lists.

“Less wealthy Australians and individuals with high need should not have their access to care restricted because they cannot afford it.”

Media enquiries:
Alison Verhoeven
Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
0403 282 501