The Labor Government’s damaging tax on GPs and other health professionals must be scrapped
immediately, The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad has told Parliament.
The retrospective tax could seriously reduce access to vital health services, particularly in rural and
regional areas, Ms Broad said.
“Recently, the State Revenue Office began issuing notices to medical practices classifying tenanted
doctors, dentists, physiotherapists and other allied health practitioners as employees, rather than
contractors, for the purposes of payroll tax,” Ms Broad said.
“Being viewed as employees rather than tenants, means a significant increase in payroll tax.”
The Victorian Nationals and Liberals recently hosted GPs and representatives from peak medical
bodies in parliament to hear first-hand the detrimental impact of Labor’s Health Tax.
“In many cases, the Labor Government is backdating the tax owed by up to five years, resulting in
tax bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, impacting the viability of medical clinics across
Victoria,” Ms Broad said.
The massive costs – of up to $800,000 in one case – are likely to flow through to patients, leading to
higher out-of-pocket costs for patients and fewer bulk billing clinics.
“In a highly unusual step, the Treasurer has written to peak doctor groups offering to reduce or
waive tax liabilities for clinics that faced insolvency as a result of this tax,” Ms Broad said.
“This move is likely to undermine the tax and has now sparked even more anger and confusion as
some struggling doctors would be forced to pay up while others are bailed out.”
Ms Broad said the Treasurer’s curious move was a clear admission that the health tax was unfair and
would threaten bulk billing and force the closure of GP clinics across Victoria.
“The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has warned that up to 30 per cent of GPs could
close – at a time when there is a significant shortage of doctors across Victoria, especially in regional
areas,” Ms Broad said.
“The flow on effects could mean patients have to travel much further for health care or go to an
emergency department when hospital services are already stretched.
“The Treasurer’s letter to peak doctor groups shows that this tax is completely unworkable and
needs to be scrapped.”
Photo caption: Gaelle Broad MP with Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier and Member for Northern Victoria Region Wendy Lovell at the Bendigo Hospital.
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