Labor’s health summit an admission of a policy-free zone

Labor’s health summit an admission of a policy-free zone

Today’s announcement that Labor will hold a health reform summit next year is an admission that they have had no genuine health policies for the past three years.

Labor’s big test will be to come up with a health reform plan in contrast to its policy-free Medicare lies.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been all talk and no action. He proclaimed that he would oversee big ideas and yet Labor’s policy vacuum proves he has no ideas when it comes to health.

Labor’s empty “Mediscare” campaign is no substitute for actually having policies and his empty promises to spend billions of dollars that he has not got.

Labor also has a record of undertaking big reviews and ignoring the results. In 2009, Labor was told by its own wide-ranging health reform review in Government to implement the Health Care Home model, yet Australians have had to wait 7 years and for the election of a Coalition Government for this important health reform .

The Turnbull Government is working to ensure that it delivers a healthier Medicare that is not only fair and focussed on quality, but efficient and sustainable for generations to come.

How Labor’s policy agendas really stacks up

The Turnbull Government will invest a record $23 billion in Medicare this year, and increase investment by $4 billion over 4 years.

In contrast Labor has never invested more in Medicare than the Turnbull Government and cut $6 billion from Medicare and Medicines.

Our record Medicare funding has seen bulk billing rates for GPs continue to rise to record levels over 85 per cent under the Turnbull Government.

This means there were 17 million more bulk-billed visits to the GP at no cost to patients last year compared with Labor’s last year in office.

In contrast bulk-billing rates were lower under Labor. No Government has consistently overseen higher bulk-billing rates than the Turnbull Government.

The Turnbull Government is making medicines cheaper for millions of Australians. This includes savings of up to $400 a year on medicines and cancer patients more than $50,000 on the cost of new breakthrough treatments they would not have been able to afford.

In contrast Labor made medicines unaffordable when they blocked patients from accessing key treatments for asthma, mental health and chronic pain on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The Turnbull Government has reduced the cost of thousands of medical devices, such as pacemakers and lenses, by $500m over six years to take pressure off private health insurance premiums.

We also have a plan to ensure consumers receive better value from their private health insurance and reforms to medical devices regulations is a down payment on further reforms.

In contrast, Labor cut billions from private health insurance and pushed up premium costs by as much as 30 per cent overnight for Australians.

The Turnbull Government is committed to finding new and better ways of delivering Medicare to an ageing population with one in two Australians living with a chronic condition through stage one of Health Care Homes.

In contrast Labor ignored the recommendations of its own health reform review and refused to implement the health care homes model. The only health reform Labor announced during the last election was to create another supersized health bureaucracy and stalled the rollout of important reforms like Health Care Homes, despite GPs long campaigning for them.