A Budget for a sicker and poorer Australia

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria (MSAV) is warning that the Abbott Government’s first budget will result in a sicker and poorer Australia. The MSAV highlighted the cuts from health and hospital funding, the introduction of a co-payment for some medical services and up-front contributions for prescription medications as evidence the Abbott Government broke its election promise to not cut health funding.

Mr Paul Elliott, assistant secretary of the MSAV, said:

“The Abbott Government before the election promised no cuts to health, and yet on Tuesday night, this government broke that promise by slashing health and hospital funding.

“By charging people to see the GP and by allowing hospitals to charge for emergency department visits, the Abbott Government is ensuring people will not seek medical attention when they need it.

“On top of this, the government will force patients to make up-front payments for blood tests and x-rays – essential methods to help GPs make diagnoses and determine the best way to treat patients.

Mr Elliott continued:

“This Budget radically undermines the universal healthcare system and makes it unnecessarily expensive for Australians to get the medical attention they need when they need it.

“The Abbott Government can expect to see an increasingly unhealthy Australia, which will result in more significant costs to public health and the budget over the longer term.

“The reality now is that patients’ actual healthcare needs won’t be met as the budget cuts will result in clinical health services being slashed.

“Co-payments is a policy that will impact in two profoundly damaging ways: it will make Australians sicker and poorer; and it is the first deliberate step to dismantling Medicare, Australia’s universal healthcare system,” concluded Mr Elliott.

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