JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
THIS ELECTION IS YOUR CHANCE TO STRENGTHEN MEDICARE
As I move around our community, there’s one set of worries that get raised with me most – the skyrocketing costs of living.
Part of this is the cost of healthcare, access to doctors, and the weakening of Medicare.
If you’re sick, you should be able to see a doctor and get the care you need without it costing an arm and a leg.
Since the LNP came into power in 2013, the out of pocket cost to see a GP here has shot up by 40%.
That’s about $11.91 an appointment, a big hit on top of all the other rising costs.
The price hike has been even steeper for specialist appointments, which have gone up by $31 an appointment – that’s a 53% increase.
Being slugged more for being sick isn’t fair and it isn’t right.
Worse, when our community was in lockdown because of the mess he made of rapid tests and the slow vaccine rollout, Scott Morrison snuck through almost 1,000 changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
There are orthopaedic, cardiac and general surgeries that now cost more, and I worry that some in our community could be forced to choose between cancelling life-changing surgeries or being hit with huge bills.
38 years it was a Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, who introduced Medicare.
It will take another Labor Prime Minister to strengthen it.
Because everyone in our community deserves access to world-class health care when they’re sick.
This election is your opportunity to strengthen Medicare, and strengthen our community.
Jim Chalmers is the federal Shadow Treasurer and Labor Member for Rankin
This opinion piece was published in the Redland City Bulletin on Wednesday, 23 March 2022