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Labor’s Medicare Cancer Plan: the benefits

Eden Monaro Mike Kelly MP

$$ support for cancer scans, imaging, specialists

A SHORTEN LABOR Government will deliver a $2.3 billion investment to dramatically slash out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients — including (of course) for people in Eden-Monaro. This is the biggest cancer-care package in Australian history.

One in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer. This year alone, more than 145,000 Australians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer.

Many patients in our region require regular scans over several years as part of their journey from diagnosis to remission, meaning their out-of-pocket costs can accumulate by many thousands of dollars.

The ABS has found more than 300,000 Australians skip radiology each year because of cost.

Nearly half of Australian cancer patients pay more than $5,000 in out-of-pocket costs over the course of their diagnosis and treatment. More than a quarter of cancer patients pay more than $10,000 out of their own pocket.

That’s why a federal Labor Government will decrease out-of-pocket costs for cancer scans by investing $600 million to dramatically expand access to MRI machines and boost Medicare rebates for diagnostic imaging, and $433 million to cut the cost of specialist consultations.

Under the current system people can only access subsidised scans on MRI machines that have a Medicare licence — Labor will scrap these barriers to life-saving scans.

This will mean that if you need a cancer scan — every MRI machine, in every postcode, will be eligible for Medicare.

Scans that would normally cost hundreds of dollars will be free.

Nearly half of Australian cancer patients pay more than $5,000 in out-of-pocket costs over the course of their diagnosis and treatment. More than a quarter of cancer patients pay more than $10,000 out of their own pocket.

Out-of-pocket costs shot up under Liberals

Unfortunately under the Liberals’ savage cuts to Medicare, out-of-pocket costs have increased across the board for GP consultations, specialist consultations and critical cancer procedures.

Scott Morrison has cut $3 billion from the pockets of patients with his Medicare freeze and $715 million from public hospitals — locking in further cuts until 2025.

Labor believes that it is your Medicare card, not your credit card that should determine your access to health services.

That’s why only Labor will invest in more beds; doctors and nurses with our Better Hospitals Fund; cap private health insurance premiums for two years; end Scott Morrison’s Medicare freeze — and fund the biggest cancer-care package in Australian history, making cancer-care more affordable for people in Eden-Monaro.

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