Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today welcomed the review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule but cautioned that all savings must be reinvested into health.
“The Greens don’t support reducing government spending on health by one dollar – but we do support ensuring that every dollar is spent wisely,” said Senator Di Natale.
“The government currently funds many tests and medical interventions that provide little value and expose patients to potential harms.
“I called for a clinician-led review of medical interventions six months ago and raised it with Sussan Ley shortly after she became Health Minister.
“This is where health reform should have begun, instead of trying to shift costs onto patients and the states through Medicare co-payments and cuts to hospital funding.
“It is crucial that the government commits to reinvest any savings back into the health system. This review must be about improving efficiency, not a government cash grab.
“Savings should be reinvested into the primary health system, which is a cost effective investment over the long term.
“A comprehensive review of Medicare is long overdue. I urge Labor not to politicise the issue or we will miss the opportunity to make a good health system even better.”
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