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GP co-payments: readers have their say

04 June, 2014

It has been nearly a month since the federal government delivered the 2014 Federal Budget.

Within the dossier was a raft of health reforms, including the highly controversial planned introduction of health care co-payments. It is a move that has divided the medical community – practitioner, patient and many other thought leaders alike.

Read what some MedicalSearch suppliers and readers have had to say in response…

"Not only is it not necessary for the sustainability of Medicare, but it will just be cost shifting as patients are likely to reduce GP visits and present themselves to hospital casualty departments for minor conditions." – Warren McLeod, Mac's Metalcraft

"The GP co-payment scheme is necessary for the sustainability of Medicare, because the present government will cut it drastically, along with everything else, if we do not have it." – Peter Wilson, Access Health

"Whichever way you look at it this co-payment plan does not stack up. Medicare is seriously in need of a new approach. Dare I suggest we should be looking at the 32% of the burden of health that is preventable through improvements to our lifestyles. This is a massive burden on our economy and one that could be tackled more readily by multidisciplinary practice teams working to achieve wellness targets (like smoking and obesity levels) and having publicly reportable health outcome indicators. Unleashing the potential of expanded general practices to tackle our major lifestyle/health would do far more to improve health outcomes, productivity, and the economy far more than this unfair copayments proposal." – J Stafford

"The purpose of the co-payment is to get rid of bulk billing practices by increasing their overheads, both by introducing the handling of money with resulting administration and security costs, and time taken with distressed families. Money upfront will very often not be $7, more like $43 and up." – C M Sexton

"Unfortunately the proposal that 'a price signal is needed to keep Medicare sustainable' is not based upon evidence of the operation of the medical service market. No amount of 'selling' overcomes this basis flaw. It perhaps better explains Peter Dutton's challenge rather than his colleagues' lack of appropriate support." – D Lennox

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Victor Hibovesky | Thursday, June 5, 2014, 12:38 PM
Co-payments will certainly will "get rid" of our rural medical practice which is at least 85% bulk billing in reflection of the community. Rising costs and no capacity to increase income will force closure. Who provides rural medical service then ?