Media release

Palmer United Senator for Queensland, Glenn Lazarus, this week met with Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton to discuss the Abbott Government’s apparent determination to force Australians to pay GP co-payments.

Minister Dutton said it is the government’s view that while the cost of Australia’s health system is rising, they believe the GP co-payment of $7 will not fix the problem in the long term.

Senator Lazarus said that all Australians want a sustainable healthcare system, but given the already high price of healthcare, a GP co-payment will only hurt Australians more at a time when families are already doing it tough.

“Australians have just been hit with a whopping increase of 33% in the Medicare levy from 1 July 2014 to fund the NDIS,” Senator Lazarus said.

“On top of this, since 2010, the cost of private health insurance premiums have increased by an average of 31.56%.

“Introducing GP co-payments will only place further hardship and strain on everyday Australians.

“Low income earners, single parent families, pensioners, nursing home patients and those who are socially or financially disadvantaged will be hardest hit by a GP co-payment. It is a ruthless attack on Australians when savings can be made elsewhere in the budget.

“All we are seeing from the Abbott Government is cut after cut.

“The Abbott Government must begin to demonstrate strong leadership and put forward plans to grow and improve Australia, not destroy it,” Senator Lazarus said.

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