The federal government has announced that cuts will occur to bulk billing incentives and as a result women will have to pay for pap smears.
The tests will now come with a $30 fee causing outrage across Australia. The cuts also apply to MRI’s, urine/blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds.
A pap smear ensures early detection of cervical cancer, STI’s, UTI’s and pregnancy.
A petition on change.org has been created, addressing the Health Minister, Sussan Ley. It so far has 29k signatures.
The petition reads:
“These cuts are unfair to the average Australian, but will especially hurt women. Free and accessible pathology tests are key to ensuring early detection of cervical cancer, STI’s, UTI’s and pregnancy. Late detection will lead to MORE cost to the taxpayer in the long run. These essential services are a backbone of our world class healthcare system.”
The cuts are projected to save the government $650 million, but health groups are concerned that the fees will discourage individuals even further from getting necessary tests.
If the petition doesn’t halt the cuts, the fees could be implemented as soon as July.