Scenic Rim and Logan medical bills too high, says Labor senator Murray Watt

HEALTH: Labor's Senator Murray Watt and federal MP Scott Buchholz disagree on health cost increases in Wright.
HEALTH: Labor's Senator Murray Watt and federal MP Scott Buchholz disagree on health cost increases in Wright.

QUEENSLAND senator Murray Watt says people in the Scenic Rim are being slugged for crucial health services in the Scenic Rim and Logan, with the average cost of seeing a medical specialist in the electorate of Wright having skyrocketed by 44 per cent over the past five years.

Senator Watt said the cost of seeing a GP had also had a price hike of 34 per cent- higher than the state average of 32 per cent, but Wright MP Scott Buchholz disagreed, saying most GPs in the region provided bulk billed services.

Senator Watt said Beaudesert and Jimboomba residents were paying more to visit the doctor as the cost of living continued to skyrocket.

"Official new data confirms what local families already know - that health costs have never been higher than under Scott Morrison," he said.

Mr Buchholz fired back, saying Medicare and health funding for Queensland was growing thanks to the Australian Governments investments.

"In Wright alone it's an increase of $38 million, or 32 per cent, up to $156 million in 2017-18 from 2012-13," he said.

"Locally, bulk billing services are up.

"Let's look at the Department of Health facts.

"Since coming to government we've increased bulk billing in Wright with almost 92 per cent of GP services bulk billed.

"If people want the facts, they won't get them from a Labor Party that couldn't fund essential services.

"They won't get it from a Labor Party responsible for the biggest bungles in Queensland Health."

Senator Watt said it wasnot just GP bills that had gone up in the past five years.

"Across the electorate the cost has also jumped by 44 per cent to visit a medical specialist," he said.

"Despite the government's claims on bulk billing, more than 70 per cent of patients have to pay to see a specialist in Wright.

"These new figures are a damning indictment of the Coalition's record of cuts and neglect in health."

Senator Watt said it was unfair people in Beaudesert and surrounding areas were being slugged more for vital services.

"It's not right that the region is paying the price for the Coalition's health cuts and being left to pay more out of their own pocket."

"Unfortunately by forcing up the cost of basic healthcare, the Morrison government is also putting more pressure on hospital emergency departments, which are left to treat patients who can't afford to visit a GP."

"The Morrison government is taking the region for granted and it's time Scott Buchholz stood up for families."