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GPs will be harder to find and more expensive under Allan Labor government Health Tax predicts Danny O'Brien

]Danny O'Brien warns that under Labor's Health Tax, GP appointments will become scarcer and pricier, potentially driving clinics to close and patients to delay necessary medical care.

By news@gippsland - 12th February 2024 - Back to News

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O'Brien says GP appointments will be harder to find and more expensive under the Allan Labor government. Mr O'Brien said the Labor state government looks set to continue with its unfair Health Tax, despite pleas from Labor's own Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler to reconsider the move.

State Labor's tax now extends to healthcare professionals leasing rooms, causing concern for Medicare lost investments, as noted by Labor's Federal Health Minister

Health tax concerns

Mr O'Brien said, "Under the State Labor government's new tax interpretation, payroll tax calculations include doctors and other health professionals who lease rooms from medical practices, rather than only direct employees of the practices themselves."

"I've met with a number of local GPs and practice managers across Gippsland South and they are gravely concerned that clinics will close or GPs leave the sector and that the tax will drive up costs for patients. Indeed, Labor's own Federal Health Minister has expressed concern that investments the Federal government has made in Medicare "will be lost" if this process continues," he said.

Exemption proposal urged

Mr Butler has urged his state colleagues to consider an alternative model that would provide an exemption to doctors under lease agreements where the patient fees and out of pocket expenses are paid directly to doctors. "According to patient engagement provider, HotDoc we could expect to see GP appointments increase from an average cost of $40.10 to $52.00 as a result of this tax."

"Our local doctors are understandably concerned that this will lead to people putting off medical appointments and result in what might have otherwise been easily treatable illnesses or infections to go unchecked. Our health system is already under significant strain and there is a real threat that increased GP fees will cause further pressure on our already under-resourced emergency rooms and urgent care centres."

Mr O'Brien said the Allan Labor government is placing pressure on the most vulnerable Victorians in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. "Labor can't manage money, can't manage projects and now Labor's scrapping for every last cent of revenue is hurting people who need to see a doctor."

Pictures from South Gippsland Hospital Facebook page.


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