Local Members Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have strongly criticised the Abbott Government’s decision to approve private health insurance premium hikes.
Reports today indicate that premiums are set to increase by as much as seven per cent and Mr Jones said that the rise couldn’t come at a worse time for many people.
“Already Australians pay some of the highest out of pocket health costs in the world and last year’s increase was the most significant in almost a decade.
“Yet Tony Abbott and his team just don’t seem to care. This hike comes on top Tony Abbott reaffirming his commitment to his harsh GP Tax Mark II measures, including the plan to slug patients $5 dollars for every trip they make to the Doctor.
“This is what the future looks like under Tony Abbott - health costs spiralling out of control whilst arrogant ministers dismiss the concerns of patients and medical professionals.”
Ms Bird said that approving the increase was typical of the Abbott Government’s disregard for consumers.
“This decision is further proof that the Abbott Government is out of touch and unconcerned about the day to day cost pressures people face every day.
“When Labor was in power we carefully scrutinised every health insurance premium rise. Yet under Tony Abbott we have seen premium rates soar and this will further discourage people from accessing health services.
“When the new Health Minister Susan Ley took over she promised to be more consultative. Well I doubt she consulted people with private health insurance before approving these hikes because many would have told her that they simply can’t afford it.”