Opposition to block Medicare rebate cuts – ANMF

The country’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), has welcomed news that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will block the Abbott Government’s dramatic cuts to Medicare rebates.

The ANMF’s Acting Federal Secretary, Annie Butler said the proposed $20 reduction in subsidies paid to doctors for patient consultations under 10 minutes, will result in the erosion of Australia’s system of universal healthcare, with more patients paying for standard visits to the GP.

“We congratulate Labor and the Greens for standing up for Medicare,” Ms Butler said today.

“Like the ANMF, Mr Shorten is obviously extremely concerned that these proposed changes to Medicare rebates is damaging for patients.

“The Government’s sneaky changes to Medicare rebates will make it more difficult for doctors to bulk-bill and instead force them to pass on the cost to their people visiting their GP for basic health services.

“That means that more and more Australians will end up paying for their everyday health care – which sadly signals the end of Medicare as we know it.

“The fact is, Mr Abbott was unable to introduce his hated GP tax, so now he is trying his Plan B, sneakily brining it in through Regulation, not Legislation because he knows MPs and Senators would have never supported it.”

Ms Butler said the ANMF urged MPs and Senators to join Labor and the Greens and Independent Senators Xenophon, Lambie and Muir, who have all voiced their opposition to the rebate changes.

Download the ANMF Media Release: Opposition to block Medicare rebate cuts