03 May 2023
Regional Australians could be the hardest hit by the
Labor government’s planned changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
through unintended consequences, according to The Nationals leader David
Ahead of next month’s Budget, the federal Labor government plans to double the amount of medicines Australians can purchase, by allowing 60-day dispensing.
However, experts have warned the move, which is being
described as one of the biggest shake-ups the PBS has faced, could create
significant medicine shortages and delays.
Mr Littleproud said regional, rural and remote
Australians risked being impacted by the changes, which come into effect on
“This is an example of the Labor government’s failure to
understand the essential needs of every day regional Australians and the
unintended consequences of Budget cuts to the PBS,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Thousands of Australians who need medications could
suffer as a consequence, because doubling scripts for some might mean others
miss out. Labor has not thought through the ramifications for regional, rural
and remote Australia and risks community pharmacies struggling to stock the
“People in regional areas are already experiencing
challenges in accessing medical support, but this decision stands to make those
challenges even more difficult. My fear is that Labor might not realise the
long-term impact and is once again neglecting the needs of regional Australia.”
Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health Dr Anne
Webster said she had been contacted by many
regional pharmacies, including in her own electorate in Horsham, Ouyen and
Cohuna, who were extremely anxious about the changes and the risk to their
“This is another example of the Labor Government having no
idea of the challenges facing regional communities,” Dr Webster said.
“When will Labor learn urban-centric policy threatens the
very viability of our small towns? Without GPs and pharmacies, towns will
struggle to survive.”
As the largest advocacy group in Tasmania and the only
one that focuses exclusively on farming and the rural sector, the future of
Tasmanian agriculture is our focus.
Join the TFGA today for a greater future.
Contact our Membership Manager