New GP Tax could cost the Hawkesbury community $5 million

HAWKESBURY and Blue Mountains residents could be forced to fork out almost $5 million a year to see a GP if the federal government’s new GP Tax is introduced, says Labor spokesperson for Macquarie Susan Templeman.

‘‘When you look at where the highest levels of bulk-billing occur in the country, we are in the top quarter, so this will hit hard,” Ms Templeman said.

‘‘In the electorate of Macquarie, where 85.9 per cent of services are bulk billed, a $6 GP Tax could cost Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains residents $4,826,922 in a year.

‘‘Australians should receive the healthcare they need not the healthcare they can afford.’’

Macquarie MP Louise Markus hit back at the claims, saying ‘‘it was disappointing to see Ms Templeman once again placing fear into our community’’.

“This is nothing more than a scare campaign from a desperate Labor Party which is trying to divert attention from its incredible failures in health,’’ Mrs Markus said. “The Australian Government wants a sustainable health system and wants to strengthen and modernise Medicare.’’

Ms Templeman said Tony Abbott said before the election he wouldn’t bring in any new taxes, and his new GP tax is a broken promise to millions of families that they won’t forget.

Mrs Markus said proposals for and against co-payments have been put before the Commission of Audit whose recommendations the government will consider in due course.

“I can’t help but wonder if Ms Templeman was so vocal when the former health Minister under Labor’s tenure cut $1.6 billion from state hospitals in the 2012 MYEFO,’’ she said.