No savings in making pathology tests more expensive

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria (MSAV) is extremely alarmed that the Turnbull Government is attacking health care to fix the economy.

In particular the Union is very concerned that health care standards for Australians will be significantly damaged by removing bulk-billing incentives for pathology, a clinical service used by General Practitioners for diagnosis and treatment. And by changing the bulk-billing arrangements for diagnostic imaging services and Magnetic Resonance Imaging services, the Turnbull Government is making these vital health services too expensive.

The Union is also very concerned that the proposed slashing of the health workforce programs which will lead to further shortages in critical areas like medical sciences. In the private pathology sector companies are likely to slash workforce terms and conditions to absorb revenue reductions to maintain current profit levels.

The changes to bulk-billing arrangements announced by the Turnbull Government illustrates that they have little regard for the future healthcare of Australians. And they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of healthcare needs of ordinary Australians given that a great number of visits to a General Practitioner necessarily involve getting a pathology test done.

Removing bulk-billing incentives for pathology tests will now make it more expensive and for many people in our community make it impossible to get the tests they need done. Healthcare standards will decline leading inevitably to adverse health outcomes for many patients.

And it’s very likely that removing bulk-billing incentives from pathology tests, and vital imagining services, will lead to more and more poor and vulnerable people unable to afford the upfront payment and not getting tests done, which will lead to serious health problems.

The Turnbull Government is creating a healthcare system where poor and vulnerable people will no longer be able to afford to access the level of healthcare they need when they need it.

This decision is not about governing for everyone or improving the lives of all Australians. This is a calculated attack on Australia’s universal healthcare system.

The Turnbull Government is sacrificing the good health of Australians because they are incapable of properly managing the Australian economy.

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