Medicare not being ‘sold off’

In response to Labor’s Election 2016 campaign claim that the Government is trying to sell off Medicare, Malcolm Turnbull has promised voters that no aspect of the system will be outsourced.

Many government agency payment services, of which Medicare is one, are in need of an upgrade and since 2014, the Government has been considering the solution of outsourcing these services to the private sector. Labor has highlighted this issue, calling on former PM Bob Hawke to appear in Election 2016 television ads warning about the possibility of privatisation of Medicare

However, plans to outsource the Medicare payment delivery service to the private sector have been dumped, with the Turnbull Government to identify where “efficiencies” can be made to fund the upgrade of the system.

The Prime Minister has stated that the claim by Labor was “so audacious it defies belief” and so has moved to end the conjecture once and for all by announcing that the outsourcing plans will be scrapped.

Although he wouldn’t put a figure on how much it would cost to improve Medicare’s payment system, he did say, “We will continue to improve the way in which Medicare interacts, interfaces with its customers, with citizens and patients, is delivered, but it will all be done by Government and within Government.”

Launching his party’s campaign yesterday, Mr Shorten continued to emphasise the threat of privatisation, stating that Election 2016 would be a referendum on Medicare, “Your individual vote will decide the fate, direction and quality of health care in this country.”


Do you think the Government should outsource the Medicare payment system if it is indeed more efficient? What will this mean for your privacy? Or should Medicare and all health services be provided by the Government?

Written by Debbie McTaggart