Health for all? Separate the facts from the rhetoric

Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but with gaps in extending coverage, that stock is slipping.

(Image: Adobe / Private Media)
(Image: Adobe / Private Media)

How universal is Australian healthcare? With poor access to specialist services and a shortage of primary care physicians in rural and remote areas, Medicare is becoming a sticking point in this election, with debates ranging from mental health to dentistry appearing in political campaigns.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese accused the Coalition of “wanting[ing] remove the universal from universal health care, “citing earlier remarks made by incoming health minister Anne Ruston. 2015Ruston said the government needed to “look for some alternatives” to make Medicare sustainable, though it has since said its stance has changed.

But the pandemic has exposed gaps in the health system, with a massive shortage of family doctors and emergency care in rural and regional areas. With mental health, long-standing COVID-19, and affordability still a key concern, here’s what the parties are doing about it.

Read more about how healthcare is becoming a key election issue.

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