STEPHEN JONES PUNTED FROM PARLIAMENT FOR DEFENDING MEDICARE

Whitlam MP Stephen Jones is the first eviction of the 45th federal Parliament after exposing Malcolm Turnbull’s lies on Medicare.

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His removal from the House of Representatives occurred after Malcolm Turnbull opened the new Parliament’s first Question Time railing against Labor’s campaign to protect Medicare from Turnbull’s privatisation plans.

Stephen Jones responded to the Prime Minister’s claims that Medicare was “guaranteed” by holding up a photo supplied by Dr Brett Thomson of the Milton Medicare Centre (attached x 3). It features staff from the Milton Medical Centre next to a sign announcing a fee increase from 1 August this year because of the Medicare rebate freeze.

Mr Jones, who served in the last Parliament as Labor’s spokesperson on rural and regional health policy, said that the Government couldn’t get away with their misleading claims on healthcare.

“At the first opportunity in the first Question Time of the new Parliament Malcolm Turnbull continued his paranoid rant against Labor’s campaign to defend Medicare.

“He claimed that Medicare is ‘guaranteed’. But the Coalition’s Medicare rebate freeze – a GP Tax by the backdoor – has been extended all the way to 2020. As a result patients across Australia are set to be slugged more just to see their GP.”

The new Shadow Regional Services Minister said that the impact would be felt by communities in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and South Coast.

“Many practices like the Milton Medicare Centre or the Bowral Street Medical Practice have been forced to end bulk billing. The first many constituents hear about it is when they turn up to their Doctors and see a notice on the window.

“In the long run this will prove disastrous – people will avoid seeing their Doctor and end up in already over-crowded hospital emergency departments with health problems that should have been treated earlier.

“Medicare is never safe under a Coalition Government; I will continue to fight for universal healthcare in Australia.”

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