House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Statements by Members

Lalor Electorate: Medicare

1:39 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On 31 July 2018, this side of the parliament, the Labor Party, committed to a fully Medicare rebated MRI licence for my local public hospital, the Werribee Mercy Hospital. Imagine my shock when, after over six months of asking this government to make the same commitment, I open the papers on the weekend to see they have not made the commitment to my electorate but have put a third licence into Geelong, in the seat of Corangamite, which already has two licences. Now the Epworth private hospital has a licence commitment from those opposite, while a quarter of a million people in the electorate of Lalor, in the City of Wyndham, have to travel at least 30 minutes to access an MRI with a Medicare rebate. This is outrageous.

I call on those opposite—the Minister for Health, the member for Flinders—to please have a good look at themselves and have a good look at the need. You on that side need to use some evidence based decision-making. Stop giving licences to private hospitals that aren't warranted when there's desperate need in communities and when public hospitals exist. We're asking you to be fair. I'm asking the member for Corangamite to give us her licence. Let's see how that goes down.