Shorten caught fibbing on Medicare freeze must explain why he stopped listing medicines

  • Greg Hunt Minister for Health, Member for Flinders

Labor is clearly a medi-fraud with their latest claims today.

Labor started the freeze and we ended it. Labor stopped listing medicines whereas we have guaranteed the listing of medicines.

Embarrassingly for Mr Shorten we ended the Medicare freeze which Labor introduced. Labor introduced the Medicare indexation freeze in 2013; the Liberal National Government ended it in the 2017 Budget.

This indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule, which the Government reintroduced in the 2017-18 Budget, is delivering an additional $1.7 billion (including 90% of diagnostic imaging items) for Medicare services through to 2021-22.

Labor entirely refused to index a single diagnostic imaging item. By contrast we are the first Government to have indexed imaging including x-rays ultrasounds, CT Scans and mammography among other items.

Medicare funding is up from $19 billion per year under Labor to $25 billion in 18-19, $26 billion in 19-20, $27 billion in 2020-21 and $29 billion in 2021-22 under the Coalition Government.

Our stronger economy has enabled the Coalition Government to deliver record federal funding for public hospital services, increasing from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 when Labor left office to a record $21.1 billion this year (a 54 percent increase).

Under a new national hospitals agreement, the Government has committed an extra $30 billion in public hospital funding from 2020-21 to 2024-25, taking overall funding during this period to $130 billion.

Bulk billing is up nearly 4% from 82.2% under Labor to a record 86.1% under the Coalition Government. This means more patients are visiting their local GP without having to pay an out of pocket cost.

The simple fact is Labor and Shorten cannot be trusted. They can’t manage the economy and they can’t manage health.

Three questions for Mr Shorten:

  • Why did Mr Shorten stop listing medicines in his 2011 Budget as Assistant Treasurer and will he now apologise?
  • Why did he not index one single X-ray, ultrasound or diagnostic imaging item in Labor’s six years in Government?
  • Why is he ripping the Private Health Insurance Rebate away from 65,000 mostly regional and older Australians?

These questions must be answered.

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