24 June 2021

 

One of my constituents, Barbara, who is 89, recently came to my mobile office at Taigum. She wanted to talk to me about moving into the area, into Regis at Brighton, and how she had found the healthcare services. She said that she'd called a number of doctors in our local area and could not find a single one who would bulk-bill—not a single one, though she'd told them she was a pensioner. She eventually found a bulk-billing doctor, but at Bracken Ridge, in the 4017 postcode, which is outside my electorate of Lilley.

Our healthcare system is among the best in the world, but this government continually puts it as risk with its cuts. My constituents—like Jesse, like Kelinda, like Heather—are writing to me daily at this point asking, 'Is an American-style health system coming for us?' With only one week to go until the Medicare cuts come into place, there's still no certainty about which item numbers are being cut and how it will affect surgeries at the Prince Charles Hospital in my electorate of Lilley. There is only one week left for the doctors, patients and healthcare workers there to receive any clarity from this government about what those cuts will mean for them and for surgeries and services provided at the Prince Charles Hospital.

This Prime Minister needs to come into this place and assure my constituents that the cost of their surgeries at the Prince Charles Hospital will not go up under the government's Medicare cuts. In the past eight years in Lilley the cost of going to see a GP has gone up 41 per cent—41 per cent, under the coalition government, in the past eight years. You can't trust them on Medicare; my constituents don't trust them on Medicare.