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#Opinion Failure to learn from previous disasters leaves WA under...

Victorian Nationals

Kealy – LETTER TO THE EDITOR (Labor’s cruel health tax)

Dear editor,

It’s already frustratingly difficult to get a doctor’s appointment for so many regional Victorians, and now they face a painful hit to the hip-pocket as well.

Life is getting harder under Labor, and this cruel new Health Tax will only make it worse.

Labor’s Health Tax would impose a backdated payroll tax on local GP clinics, resulting in tax liabilities of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, threatening the clinics’ long-term viability.

The health tax will add $15-$20 to the cost of each doctors visit, which may prevent people from receiving the health care they need as the cost-of-living crisis bites.

A trip to the doctor in some small towns now requires a time-consuming and expensive day trip to the neighboring town because there isn’t even a single general practitioner locally. Further costs are the last thing hardworking families need.

Adding to these woes, Victorians will be left with fewer bulk billing clinics, leading to an increased demand on already overstretched hospitals.

This Labor Health Tax nightmare only puts more cracks in Victoria’s broken healthcare system.

According to Rural Doctors Association of Australia chief executive, Peta Rutherford, Victoria has the worst employment landscape for doctors of any state, and many doctors are moving interstate as a result.

Just last year, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Victorian chairwoman Dr Anita Munoz said GPs were urgently needed in country towns and a suite of financial rewards could address the problem. Rather than rewards, Labor’s Health Tax just punishes.

The Andrews Labor Government has to re-evaluate this tax and look at more equitable ways to pay for healthcare services that don’t disadvantage our regional communities.

We’ve endured enough pain already.

Emma Kealy MP

Deputy Leader of the Nationals

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