Today the Abbott Government refused to allow Labor’s Spokesperson for Rural and Regional Health, Stephen Jones to table a report that compared the National Party’s performance on health policy to their pre-election commitments.
“It’s been more than a year since the election and the Nationals have comprehensively failed to deliver on a single pre-election promise on rural and regional health”, said Stephen Jones.
“It’s no wonder they refused to allow the tabling of the damning report in Parliament today. The facts speak for themselves, and they don’t tell a very nice story.
“What’s more galling is National Party has recently published a document that sets out its 25 top achievements after one year in government – regional health does not rate a mention, and there’s a good reason for that.
“Before the election, they promised ‘no cuts to health’. After the election they cut hospital funding by more than $50 billion.
“This means people in rural and regional hospitals across the country will have poorer access to facilities with fewer doctors and nurses.
“Before the election, they promised to provide a full-time regional health minister. After the election, their Minister in charge of Rural and Regional Health Senator Fiona Nash has admitted she did not have any input into the creation of the ill-conceived GP Tax that will hit rural and regional patients hardest”, said Jones.
“Before the election, they promised to increase the Medicare Rebate for regional doctors. After the election, the Coalition cut it by $5, froze it for two years and then just washed their hands of it.
“Just twelve months in and we can see these were all just cruel, empty promises.
“The Nationals have shown nothing but contempt for their rural and regional communities since they set foot in the chamber last year. It’s just not good enough.
“I encourage every National Party MP and Senator to pick up a copy of the report on their poor performance on health policy.
“It will remind them of their broken promises to rural and regional Australians and hopefully next time they’ll come into the Parliament and vote with their conscience, not their out of touch Liberal colleagues.”