The Turnbull government recently decided to cut bulk-billing incentives to pathology services. This will result in pathology labs charging for basic tests including pap smears, MRIs, urine tests, blood tests, x-rays and ultrasounds. The cuts will force patients to pay at least $30 for a pap smear, urine or blood test and up to $173 for an MRI scan.
These cuts are unfair to all, but will especially hurt women. Free and accessible pathology tests are key to ensuring early detection of cervical cancer, STIs (sexually transmitted diseases), UTIs (urinary tract infections) and pregnancy.
A national day of action has been planned in response, with rallies set to take place on February 20 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and more.
Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance national co-Convener Mia Sanders said: “Healthcare cuts, especially those that target women, will have real and dangerous impacts for youth who are already struggling to make ends meet. These cuts will mean higher costs, which will represent a financial barrier to vulnerable sections of society accessing healthcare.
“The Liberal government should be ashamed of this outrageous and careless proposal and will have blood on their hands if it goes through. Healthcare is a basic right and should be free.”