*Update: Doctors smell a rat in Turnbulls new deal
Well there's nothing like a good old tight election to get the Lieberals in a tizz.
I was greeted this morning by an email from Pathology Australia in regards to their petition to not dump the bulk billing incentive payment for pathology services, as was announced by the Turnbull gov. This would have caused Pathology services across the country to introduce a co-payment for every blood test, perhaps for all people including pensioners. It would have affected the sickest, poorest, most chronically ill people the most. Including me, who gets a minimum of 4 blood tests a year simply to monitor the HIV viral and CD4 count.
Now, in the face of a Labor resurgence and voter disappointment at do nothing no balls Turnbull, the Lieberals have actually caved in and deferred the scrapping of the bulk bill incentive.
That's great. But it's only one thing you know out of all the $billions they're ripping out of health. And they had to, once again, be dragged kicking and screaming to the table and listen to the health professionals and community. This is a win yes, but a small one in comparison to the axe they're welding at the entire health sector.
For example, what about the nearly half a $billion they're going to rip out of my local hospital, The Prince of Wales? Are we supposed to bow down and thank the Lieberals for a few crumbs from their table?
Liesel Wett, CEO of Pathology Australia said: “We have been working in collaboration with Government on a solution that will ensure the sustainability of the sector. The announcement by the Coalition today includes both a deferment to the changes to the bulk billing incentive and a workable solution to the high rents being paid for pathology collection centres. This in turn, will allow the sector to maintain current billing practices, in the best interests of patients”.
“The commitment by the Coalition to ensure affordable access to pathology services is in the best interests of patients, the pathology sector and the Government. It will ensure that competition is based on service and quality and will foster a more diversified sector where patient choice will be enhanced”.
As a result of the announcement, Pathology Australia says thank you to nearly 600,000 Australians across the country who have signed the Don’t Kill Bulk Bill petition, assisting the pathology sector to have patients’ voices heard, and for the Coalition to provide a means to address their legitimate concerns. Pathology Australia’s petition will be closed today.
“This is a significant announcement for patients and the pathology sector. The pathology profession will continue to strive towards highest quality and efficiency levels, in line with historical performance to date and as recognized in the recently released report on the sector by Ernst & Young1.This is a great win for patients and for the future sustainability and vibrancy of the pathology sector in Australia”, said Ms Wett. Pathology Australia