Tony Abbott's GP Tax goes way beyond the doctor's surgery, with experts revealing cancer patients will now be forced to fork out thousands of dollars upfront to pay for MRI, X-Rays, CAT scans and mammograms.
A hidden trap in the Abbott Government's GP Tax package will force many cancer patients to pay extraordinary costs upfront, even those on healthcare and pensioner concession cards.
According to the Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association (ADIA), patients will be forced to pay $90 upfront for every X-Ray, $380 for every CAT scan, up to $160 for every mammogram and $190 for every ultrasound.
Member for Watson, Tony Burke said the trap exposes Tony Abbott's GP Tax as not just a tax on visits to the doctor; it’s also a Pathology Tax, a Diagnostic Imaging Tax and an MRI Tax.
“For many patients especially those on extensive courses of treatment, the cost will be simply unaffordable. They’ll either have to skip crucial treatments or take out a loan to pay for essential life-saving treatment,” Mr Burke said.
“Those who do miss important scans are likely to get sicker, require even more extensive treatment, and end up costing the health system much, much more.
“The worst cost will be to the health of people who are hurt by this tax,” said Mr Burke.
For those unfortunate enough to need a PET scan, mainly used in the assessment of cancers, brain diseases and cardiovascular disease, the upfront cost could be as high as $1,000.
“Even after receiving their Medicare rebate, patients could be left with out of pocket cost of up to $160 for every scan.
“This is a disgrace that just confirms Tony Abbott’s attack on Medicare is a disaster for health care in Australia,” Mr Burke said.