I’m disappointed but certainly not surprised that Labor has again decided to mislead Australians about Medicare. Labor said the government would privatise Medicare in 2016. We did not. Labor said the government would make cuts to Medicare at the 2019 election. We did not. Again, in 2021, Labor is attempting to scare Australians in a move that reeks of political desperation.
In fact, in the May budget, the Morrison government increased Medicare’s funding by $6 billion over the budget cycle. This means that, in 2024-25, Medicare funding will have reached $33 billion—$14 billion more than when Labor was last in government. Bulk-billing rates are at a record high 88.7 per cent, meaning almost nine out of 10 visits to a GP are bulk-billed. This is 6.7 percentage points higher than when Labor was last in government.
Now we see Labor attempting to play politics with an independent review of the MBS, a process led by experts designed to modernise the MBS in a way that will actually benefit patients. In fact, this budget includes $711 million for new or amended items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, including additional support for mental health services. The Morrison government has delivered an increase of funding to Medicare, a record bulk-billing rate and a Medicare guarantee. This is yet another routine ‘Mediscare’ campaign by those opposite in a bid to mislead and deceive the Australian public, and they should be ashamed of themselves.