Over a hundred concerned residents turned out to a Medicare community meeting in Greenslopes today hosted by Member for Griffith, Terri Butler MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones MP, to voice their opposition to the Abbott Government's cruel cuts to health.
"The Abbott Government's GP Tax and increased cost to PBS medications are clear broken promises and the people of Griffith feel betrayed", Stephen Jones said.
"There is a real fear amongst people in the community, particularly older Australians, that they won't be able to afford the increasing cost of seeing their GP or getting their regular prescriptions filled any more.
"One woman I spoke to, Ms Beryl Keith, is a pensioner. She's on a fixed income and has a number of different prescriptions she needs to fill, many of them non-repeats.
"Ms Keith has to see her GP every time she needs to fill a new prescription, often more than once per month. Under Tony Abbott's GP Tax, she will be slugged with an out of pocket fee for these visits. This is on top of the increased cost to each and every one of her medications.
"My concern is that millions of patients on low incomes like Beryl will be faced with a choice - do they put food on the table or fill their prescriptions?
"In a developed nation like Australia, people should not be forced to make these decisions.
"We know that about 8 per cent of patients already avoid seeing their doctor because of cost. This number is only going to increase with the introduction of a GP Tax, which will slug the patients in Griffith electorate with an extra $4.9 million in the first year alone. This equates to $184.6 million for patients across Queensland", said Jones.
Terri Butler said a lot of people have come to her saying they feel betrayed by the Abbott Government's attack on Medicare.
"The GP Tax is one of the most reckless policies I can imagine.
"Not only is it extremely offensive for the Treasurer to suggest that Australians are hypochondriacs, but to introduce a policy that actively deters patients from seeing a doctor is just irresponsible.
"Lives have been saved by people getting to their GP and getting a diagnosis early.
“People should get the help they need, not the help they can afford,” Ms Butler said.