This week, the Australian Federal Government announced a series of measures to curb the spread of the coronaviral disease.
One of these measures is to impose a health rationing scheme.
Under this scheme, those who do not have the required health insurance, or those who cannot afford to pay, will be subject to a cut in their weekly payments, from $300 to $100.
Health Minister Eric Abetz said the plan would help to “provide more certainty and accountability for Australians”.
“The public will not see a reduction in their payments.
The system will be clear, transparent and accessible to all,” Mr Abetz told ABC radio on Monday.
Mr Abelson said the scheme was a way of tackling the “disastrous” pandemic that had taken over Australia.
But critics have criticised the scheme as a thinly veiled form of health ration-ing.
“It’s really quite Orwellian,” Professor Bruce Gray of the School of Public Health at the University of Melbourne said.
“There’s a very clear cut line there that you can’t go down or that you’re just not going to get a cut, and I think that’s quite dangerous.”
Mr Abelton said the government was “absolutely committed to the principles of this system” and would make the announcement “as soon as possible”.
“We are not putting people off from coming into Australia,” he said.
The ABC’s James O’Brien in Canberra reports that the Australian Government has set aside $10 billion to help the nation fight the coronivirus pandemic.