Health policy is tipped to help influence a lot of votes this Federal election.
Health policy is tipped to help influence a lot of votes this Federal election. oksun70

Federal candidates’ reveal health policies

WITH one of the oldest demographics in Australia, it is little wonder health policy consistently rates as one of the issues of most importance among voters in the seat of Richmond.

There was an angry response on social media to the Tweed Daily News’ most recent revelations about the poor state of the Tweed Hospital, which needs a $140million upgrade.

So we asked our candidates to reveal their health policies:

Labor’s Justine Elliot:

“Locals deserve access to the best possible health care when they need it – determined by their Medicare card, not their credit card.

Labor will always fight to protect Medicare and we will reverse Malcolm Turnbull and the Nationals’ GP tax by stealth.

Labor will also boost hospital funding by $2billion more than the Nationals over the next four years, which means reduced hospital waiting times, more beds, more doctors and nurses.

Only Labor can deliver better hospitals and this election is a choice between the Nationals, which will give a $50billion tax cut to big business, and Labor, which will invest in health.”

Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser:

“Despite the scare campaigns that are out there, the Federal Coalition Government is spending more than ever in health.

  • Health funding in 2016–17 will be $71.4billion – an 11.6% increase on Labor’s last budget.
  • Medicare funding will be $22.7billion – a 13.6% increase on Labor’s last budget.
  • Hospitals funding will be $17.9billion – a 29.4% increase on Labor’s last budget.
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will be $10.4billion – a 9.8% increase on Labor’s last budget.

A number of health policies were announced in the recent Federal Budget, including the Integrated Health Reforms, the Healthier Population, Healthier Nation policy and the Healthier Medicare policy.”

The Greens candidate Dawn Walker:

“The Greens will commit to over $4billion dollars into funding public hospitals to 2020.

The Greens will also end the freeze on Medicare by investing $2.4billion into the Medical Benefits Scheme to protect our bulk-billing services.

This is great news for the Tweed Hospital and would remove future funding uncertainty.

It’s important that the Commonwealth increase its funding to match 50% of the efficient growth in hospital costs from the next budget cycle.

Health care should be universal and every Australian deserves secure access to the services that they need. It’s the role of government to protect vital services, like health care, and to match the funding for the growth in hospital costs so that they are funded properly.”

Angela Pollard for the Animal Justice Party:

  • The AJP supports a universal publicly funded healthcare system.
  • Education campaign for health care professionals on the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
  • Integrate animal companionship into mental health programs.
  • Phase out subsidies to intensive animal industries because they are both cruel and provide a breeding ground for new diseases and antibiotic resistance which poses public health risks.
  • End all subsidies to the red and processed meat industries due to health risks in relation to cancer, heart disease and obesity.
  • Funding of health services to be provided at state level, with an end to vertical fiscal imbalances and ‘buck passing’.

One Nation’s Neil Smith:

“If the tax system were overhauled as it should be, we could easily afford more and better hospitals as well as the retention of Medicare.”

The Christian Democratic Party did not respond.

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