15 C
Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Medicare co-payment still on agenda

Latest News

Death for koalas

Maria Paola Torti, Italy I’m Maria Paola Torti. I live in Italy, and I’m very concerned with the NSW coalition government’s...

Other News

SCU celebrates alumni achievements with awards

A group of Southern Cross University graduates who have made extraordinary global achievements in research, community building, healthcare and environmental issues have been acknowledged with the 2020 Alumni Impact Awards.

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the...

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Suffolk Park Pump Track

We the ‘Engaged Neighbours’, on behalf of the Suffolk Park pump track’s affected neighbours and 300–400 petitioners and letter writers, request Council NOT to continue to bulldoze the large fenced in section of Linda Vidler Parkland adjacent to Baz and Shaz’s shop, close to the houses on three sides.

Report and recommendations – First Nations people in custody

High, but not high enough, on the country's human rights agenda is the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Health groups say the government remains set on bringing in a Medicare co-payment, despite public and backbench MP concern.

The Medicare co-payment is still on the government's agenda. (file pic).
The Medicare co-payment is still on the government’s agenda. (file pic).

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley met key health consumer and community groups in Canberra on Tuesday to discuss a way forward on changes to Medicare.

Facing a public and internal party backlash, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared the co-payment – originally proposed in last year’s budget – “off the table” pending Ms Ley’s consultation program.

But he says the system needs more price signals to keep it afloat over the long term.

However, those attending Tuesday’s meeting came out with the impression the co-payment remains on the government’s agenda.

Australian Council of Social Service chief Cassandra Goldie said the government could not explain why the co-payment was needed.

On occasions, the government talked about budget savings and at other times it was about GP over-servicing or changing the behaviour of doctors.

‘On any of those outcomes, this is the wrong policy to achieve it,’ Dr Goldie said.

The better option was to look at broader tax reform.

‘We can’t talk about budget sustainability and only focus on fee-for-service grabs,’ she said.

Consumers Health Forum chairman Tony Lawson said the co-payment was alive and well.

‘Unfortunately, it would appear the minister continues to propose that Medicare needs a price signal,’ he said.

‘But she and the government are failing to recognise that the introduction of a mandatory co-payment would represent a serious blow to what has made Medicare so successful over the past 30 years.’

The payment would particularly hit chronically ill patients who do not qualify for concessions, and cause people to delay treatment, leading to more expensive treatment borne by the taxpayer.

Ms Ley said she appreciated the honesty and enthusiasm of those at the meeting.

‘This government is also committed to maintaining high-quality care and treatment and protecting bulk billing for concession card holders and the vulnerable,’ she said in a statement.

‘However, with over 70 per cent of Medicare-eligible medical services provided to non-concessional patients now being bulk billed, doing nothing is not an option.’

Other groups at the meeting included the Public Health Association, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Australian Health Care Reform Alliance and National Rural Health Alliance.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Jack McCoy bringing surf show to Lennox

Legendary film maker Jack McCoy is bringing his acclaimed surf talk, film and live music event to the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 8 May.

No accountability for proven police misconduct

On Australia Day in 1998, I was the legal observer for the ‘Nude Ain’t Rude’ rally at Belongil Beach.

Pottsville policing forum asks the hard questions

Members of the Pottsville and Tweed Coast community say that in response to an increase in criminal activity in the area and their request for increased police presence, they were hosting a police presentation at Pottsville.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration of women and protection of...