Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash today admitted she did not consult with any rural and regional health service stakeholders prior to the creation of the Abbott Government’s GP Tax.
In her role as Minister in charge of Rural and Regional Health, Ms Nash admitted that she was not involved in any discussion around implementing a $7 tax for rural and regional patient GP consultations.
Senator Jan McLucas:“So you didn’t provide advice as the Minister for Rural and Regional Health into the process at all?”
Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash: “Senator, no.”
The Minister also admitted she had not requested any modelling be done on the impact of the GP Tax for patients accessing primary care in rural and regional areas of Australia.
Acting as a representative for Health Minister Peter Dutton, Ms Nash could also not say whether the Minister has requested any analysis be done on what the GP Tax could mean for rural and regional patients.
“Before the election, Ms Nash said she was going to go out and fix rural and regional health outcomes”, said Jones.
“Now today she’s admitted she wasn’t in any way involved in Government discussions about the single most important Budget measure affecting rural and regional patients.
“More than a million Australians living in rural and regional areas already struggle to access the basic medical care most city dwellers take for granted.
“Slugging these patients with a GP Tax will only exacerbate health inequalities between those who live in metro areas and those who do not.
“It’s simply not good enough for Ms Nash to shrug her shoulders and say ‘I wasn’t involved’.
“It is her job to be involved. It is her responsibility to honour her election commitment.
“This must not be another broken promise for rural and regional Australians.”