Local health professionals, peak bodies and leaders in the health sector today joined the Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King MP and local Federal Member Milton Dick MP for the 2018 Greater Springfield Heath Summit.
This important gathering of health professionals discussed the challenges faced by the rapidly growing region and the community’s future health care needs.
Local MP Milton Dick said the Summit was a great success that ensured the voices of local health professionals were heard.
“Today we saw GPs, other doctors and many others join Catherine and I to provide an insight into what challenges they face in our region, and what we can do to support them” said Mr Dick.
“I’ve recently been approached by more and more people who are concerned about the rapid growth in health care costs and the need to ensure we keep Medicare –our universal health care system - accessible and affordable.
“Medicare has been at the centre of health care for millions of Australians and we must protect it into the future. Our community should be particularly proud of Medicare as it was created right here in 1973 by the former Member for Oxley, the Hon. Bill Hayden.”
Doctors were quick to discuss how the ongoing Medicare rebate freeze was affecting both patients and health providers.
The LNP’s Medicare freeze is cutting $2.2 billion from Medicare over the next four years – on top of the billions in savings they have already banked.
“While people here are struggling to afford basic health care, Malcolm Turnbull is so out-of-touch that he is yet to lift any part of his Medicare freeze”, said Mr Dick. “Rebates for GPs, specialists and allied health services all remain frozen, and the freeze won’t be fully lifted until 2020”.
Australian Medical Association President Michael Gannon recently pointed to the Liberals’ freeze on Medicare rebates as the biggest contributor to the growth of out-of-pocket costs in the past five years.
“Access to quality and affordable health care is one of my highest priorities for our community” said Mr Dick.
“I’ll keep fighting to see that local residents and health professionals are given the support and resources they deserve.