The Turnbull Government cuts to healthcare ahead of Christmas last year will see essential clinical services like pathology test and diagnostic imaging become unaffordable for vulnerable people as the cost of tests explode.
Access to pathology and diagnostic testing is vital to ensuring people are able to get the care they need when they need it. Approximately 80 per cent of all diagnoses are done through a pathology test. Pathology and diagnostic testing are vital in ensuring treatments are working.
Removing bulk-billing incentives for pathology tests and diagnostic imaging will make it more expensive for vulnerable people to get the tests they need done. Healthcare standards will decline leading inevitably to adverse health outcomes for many patients; and a greater burden on the healthcare system.
Australia’s two largest private pathology companies – Sonic Healthcare and Primary Health Care – have already committed to passing on the costs to patients. The Turnbull Government is creating a situation where vulnerable people will no longer be able to afford the healthcare they need when they need it.
At the same time these companies will use the government’s decision to cut bulk-billing incentives to extend wage freezes. Dorevitch Pathology – a wholly owned subsidiary of Primary Health Care –has refused to negotiate wage increases for the entire scientific workforce for the past 8.5 years.
These changes will heavily impact patients, and will heavily impact on private pathology providers who rely on referrals from GPs and medical practitioners and could lead to much less competition, despite claims about there being enough competition in the sector.
Slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from healthcare 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 long-term good health of Australians for short-term budget gain. Join us on 20 February to call on the Turnbull Government to reverse the cuts to bulk-billing for pathology tests.
When: 12pm on 20 February
Where: State Library of Victoria
Get more information about the rally on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/168635080164318/