House debates

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Statements by Members

Macquarie Electorate: Health Care

1:40 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The efforts we've made in the budget to maintain access to bulk-billing GPs, with a tripling of the bulk-billing payment to them, have been well reported. This is on top of the $1.5 billion boost to the indexation of Medicare, which will mean the biggest increase across the board to Medicare rebates since Paul Keating was Prime Minister.

There has also been a tripling of the payment GPs receive for treating veterans, and I was pleased to take veterans minister Keogh to Winmalee Medical Centre to meet Dr Mike de Vries and representatives of the Blue Mountains Vietnams Veterans Association—Chris McKay, John Fenton and Jack Lake. Some local veterans may be missing out on the veterans healthcare benefit. There are more than 4,000 people in my electorate who identified themselves as a veteran on the census but less than half have a healthcare card. GPs actually receive a higher payment to bulk-bill veterans than the wider community, so we're keen to identify those who may be eligible but haven't applied. If you have served, there is a benefit to both you and your GP if you have a healthcare card, so I would urge you to apply.

On top of GP benefits, I'm looking forward to supporting veterans in my electorate with a new veterans and families wellbeing centre. This is something that we promised in the election and will bring together government services to make it easy for veterans to access the things they are entitled to.