Labor has finally released the framework for its controversial Patients’ Tax and as feared it means Queenslanders will pay more to visit their GP.
The LNP Opposition and doctors warned that Labor’s ill-conceived and illogical Patients’ Tax would drive up the cost of seeing the family doctor, drive more people into emergency departments and drive down bulk-billing rates.
We knew the devil would be in the detail and after the Palaszczuk Labor Government quietly released their tax plan, it’s been revealed those concerns were well founded.
Rather than fix the problem he created, Treasurer Dick has only made it more complicated and more expensive.
During this saga, the question being asked the entire time was under Labor’s Patients’ Tax plan would Queenslanders end up paying more to see a GP?
The framework is in, and the answer is ‘yes.’
Labor’s tax plan is this:
Either medical practices will now be forced to pay Labor’s Patients’ Tax or they must restructure their business model which means higher ongoing administrative costs.
Both scenarios mean patients will pay more to see the GP and that’s bad news for everyone.
This is more a belly flop by Labor than another chaotic policy backflip.
A health system in crisis needs certainty and stability – not a confused policy framework from a government in chaos and crisis desperately trying to fix the problems it has created.
Unfortunately, today’s ruling only adds to the uncertainty and instability.
It is no way to govern.
Doctors remain concerned about how Labor’s tax plan will be practically applied and the costs they will face in complying with their obligations.
For doctors providing life-saving care to families, the elderly and the vulnerable to operate their practice with confidence, they need clarity on how they should structure their arrangements.
During Question Time in November last year we first asked about the impact Labor’s Patients’ Tax would have on bulk-billing and emergency departments.
At the time, the Treasurer said:
“I will not be acting because it is not proper for me to do so.”
Since that statement, there have been two new complicated rulings.
Is it any wonder Cameron Dick planned to be out of the country when this latest backflip ruling came down? He knew he was giving patients false hope.
Queenslanders deserve better.
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