Official data has confirmed what many Novocastrians know only too well – that health costs continue to climb under the Morrison Government.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said health bills were at record highs, with Novocastrians paying more than both the state and national averages for GP visits.
“Novocastrians have never paid more to see the doctor than they are under Mr Morrison and the Liberals,” Ms Claydon said.
“The Government’s own Health Department has revealed that people in Newcastle are paying an average of $38.18 in out-of-pocket costs for every GP visit – an increase of 35% since the Liberals came to power.”
Ms Claydon said many people choose to forgo doctor’s visits because of the prohibitive costs.
“People are already facing a growing burden of housing and energy bills and record low wages, so it’s no wonder they’re avoiding or delaying doctor’s visits,” Ms Claydon said.
“We know that primary health care is the most cost-effective part of the health care system. When people avoid going to the doctor it creates an even greater burden on the public health budget through increased specialists and hospital costs down the track.”
Ms Claydon said out-of-pocket fees for specialists are also at record highs.
“Novocastrians are paying an average of $84.53 to see specialists – up from $57.59 when the Liberals came to power. This is a staggering hike.
“Given that only 23.2% of Novocastrians are always bulk billed for their specialist appointments, these costs really hurt.”