LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed today’s move by new Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley to scrap controversial proposed changes to the Medicare rebate.
“I congratulate the minister for having the courage to stand up against something that wasn’t going to work,” Mr Entsch said.
“The feedback I’ve received from medical practitioners and constituents is that the changes would have negatively impacted many people in Leichhardt, particularly those on fixed incomes or facing other cost of living issues.
“State Members Michael Trout and Gavin King have also been in touch with me as a result of people raising concerns through their offices.
“I acknowledge that something needs to be done as Medicare in its current form is not sustainable, but there are other ways.
“This is a very positive step for Sussan to make and sets her up to be a very strong and capable health minister.”
Mr Entsch said he had a good working relationship with Ms Ley, adding that in her role as the Assistant Mister for Education she achieved some very good outcomes for local childcare providers and twice took the time to visit Cairns.
“I’ve already invited her to come again and sit down with some of our more prominent medical practitioners to discuss possible solutions that are more practical in the long-term.
“Doing nothing is not an option as Medicare will not survive without changes to make it sustainable.”
In the last decade, spending on Medicare has more than doubled from $8 billion in 2004 to $20 billion today, yet the Australian Government raises only $10 billion from the Medicare levy. Spending is projected to climb to $34 billion in the next decade to 2024.
“Minister Ley has committed to speak with doctors and the community across the country in order to come up with sensible options to deliver appropriate Medicare reforms,” Mr Entsch said.
“As she stated, we want doctors to spend more time with patients where appropriate, while ensuring at the same time that taxpayers’ dollars are effectively targeted.”