Statements by Senator – Medicare

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Last week we celebrated 40 years of the little green card that resides in wallets across the country: 40 years of Medicare, a true Labor legacy.

I celebrated by going along to our brand-new Inner Melbourne Medicare Urgent Care Clinic with the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney.

Less than two months after the clinic opened their doors, they’ve seen over 1,000 patients and saved 700 people from heading to the emergency department—including a little boy who’d cracked his head open while playing at his family pool.

Thanks to the amazing nurses and doctors, he got patched up and was out in under an hour.

All his family needed was that little green Medicare card, not their credit card.

This was all without having to wait in a hospital emergency room. It’s one of 58 Medicare urgent care clinics that this Labor government has opened across the country.

And we’ve rolled out the largest investment in bulk billing in Medicare history, supporting 11 million children, pensioners, and concession card holders to see a doctor for free. 

It’s easy to forget that Medicare wasn’t always with us. It wasn’t always a guarantee.

In fact, this 40-year anniversary should have been longer. It was Gough Whitlam who introduced Medibank 48 years ago, only for the coalition to come in and dismantle it.

And the worst health minister ever, Mr Dutton, did his best to destroy it too.

Labor, on the other hand, will always defend and extend Medicare, because every Australian, regardless of their postcode or pay cheque, deserves quality and affordable health care.

The Australian people can count on us to always defend and extend their Medicare.