A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Malcolm Turnbull's cuts to bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging.
In the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal outlook, Mr Turnbull cut $650 million from Medicare from vital tests and scans.
Mr Turnbull's cut came in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the former Labor Government’s incentives are achieving their aim of maintaining or increasing bulk billing. In diagnostic imaging, for example, bulk billing rates rose 10 points in just six years thanks to Labor's measure.
Labor's measure gives pathologists and radiologists a specific incentive to bulk bill. Without it, bulk billing will fall, co-payments will rise, and patients will be forced to pay more for tests and scans - or skip them altogether.
This would mean worse health outcomes for patients and higher costs to our health system. It is vital that patients are not turned away from care because of their ability to pay.