Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government. Minister, can you explain why the government has cut Medicare bulk-billing incentives in my bushfire-affected electorate, making it harder for doctors to bulk-bill children and pensioners?
I welcome the opportunity, on a day like today, to speak about rural health, on the day when we announced another 100 training places for the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine—rural pathways putting doctors into areas such as the honourable member's electorate, servicing those regional areas. There has been no change to the regulation. The changes are an update from the Bureau of Statistics. They were agreed to by both sides of this House. It is important to remember that this policy is to service regional, rural and remote health, and those changes are purely on the demographics of the areas mentioned. There has been no change to bulk-billing.
Two points: firstly, I'm just going to say to the Manager of Opposition Business that, if he or anyone else has an issue with a minister's answer, they know they can deal with that at the end of question time. Secondly, I'm not going to ask ministers to table legislation that you've got.