Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Health and Aged Care. I remind the minister that Medicare investment and bulk-billing are at record highs under the Turnbull government. As such, will the minister update the House on the government's plans to build a healthier Medicare?
I thank the member for Robertson for her question. I also thank her for her compassionate, caring representation of her constituents, many of whom she has brought to me with stories of ill-health. She is a fabulous local member.
The member for Robertson is correct. We are building a healthier Medicare. She is also correct in saying that bulk-billing rates have never been higher than they are under the Turnbull government. In fact, the 17.6 million bulk-billed services in the last year is the highest ever, and certainly higher than under Labor in their last year of office.
The Leader of the Opposition is a Medicare fraud, a complete Medicare fraud. He ran a disgraceful scare campaign.
I withdraw the remark that was offensive to the people's choice. I simply say again that the Leader of the Opposition ran a disgraceful scare campaign, hiding behind the robocalls of his union mates. I ask the question: would he have personally picked up the phone and said the things that were said to vulnerable elderly Australians late at night? Would he have said them? No, I do not think so. He was hiding behind the robocalls of his union mates. The Leader of the Opposition and Labor should tell the truth on health. Health policy—
I hope the member for Ballarat gets a question up. I am gunning for her over question time. Health policy is hard work. It is a hard slog. All we have seen from Labor is lazy spending on the credit card. We have never seen a single policy. What we should see—
Ms Catherine King interjecting—
are the hard yards that build the reforms that give every Australian safe, affordable universal access to Medicare.
Just when I thought it could not get any worse, we had a hysterical tirade from the member for Ballarat—about what? About our cancer-screening registry. The actions of the Labor Party have taken our cancer-screening registry bill out into a vacuum. It is unlikely to get through the parliament this week, which means the new cancer-screening registry is unlikely to start in May next year, which means the world-class screening registry that will bring the innovative approach to cervical cancer screening—
Honourable members interjecting—
Ms Butler interjecting—
The member for McMillan will resume his seat. I called the member for McMillan because he was on his feet before—
An opposition member interjecting—
No, he was well and truly on his feet. The member for Griffith will resume her seat. I looked around the chamber. It was not a close-run thing at all. The member for McMillan has the call.