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5 Comments

  1. 1

    GP Rural

    Interesting to read the responses. As a Rural GP I couldn’t afford to run a business on Bulk Billing, so as one author suggests I charge a Gap.
    This Gap serves to allow me to Bulk Bill those in need. I cannot see how attacking Primary Care through Bulk Billing will achieve anything in my context except to reduce access further for those who need it.
    With the current drought, mining downturn and loss of rural incomes there are many people who need care who cannot afford it.
    There is waste in the Health System, Medicare is overly complex, Secondary and Tertiary care is rising as the Population ages and people become more dependent for health care, the costs of new Medicines and Technologies introduced without evidence continue.
    This is a complex system and at least the suggestion of a co-payment has created debate. Perhaps it is time for the Commentators and Government to admit that we have an un-affordable heath system and address the key drivers for that.

    Reply
  2. 2

    Whistleblower

    The $5 dollar levy should also apply for non-emergency visits to public hospitals as determined by an appropriate triage system. Those with non-life-threatening medical problems should be redirected that to the local GP clinic, and perhaps a few enterprising GPs could set up a clinic adjacent to the foyer a public hospitals where these individuals could be redirected.

    Putting a five dollar levy on GP visits and leaving the public hospitals exposed would be stupid.

    The $5 dollar payment would act as a disincentive for frivolous unnecessary requests medical intervention as medical intervention is an expensive commodity and needs to be appropriately allocated according to medical need and not psychological disposition.

    Reply
  3. 3

    JKUU

    The better health plans here in the US entail a copay of around $30 per visit to a GP or specialist. So, $5 or $6 per visit as announced sounds like a good deal to me.

    Reply
  4. 4

    Hamis Hill

    This looks like an Machiavellian proposal to dissuade the poor from taking up preventative health services, and so die earlier than they otherwise would.
    “Kill The Poor!”; does Abbott have a mandate from his wealthy supporters to thus reduce their tax burden?

    Reply
  5. 5

    Claire Kelly

    I am forever bemused in relation to how this liberal government continues to single out and shame those who are most vulnerable in our community. The notion of deserving and undeserving is continually tested and here is yet another example of further marginalising those with low incomes. The idea of charging a fee (albeit small by the standards of those with moderate incomes) becomes another opportunity for those with ill informed and stereotypical views to provide examples of the things that low income Australians could do without to manage their healthcare needs. There is a significant body of research that suggests low income individuals and families already underuse local health services, further highlighting the significance of promoting GP services as a proactive and preventative measure to reduce admissions to public hospitals and to alleviate our already over crowded accident and emergency sections who become the bearer of all burden when GP services become unaffordable. Coupled in the low income section of our community are our older Australian’s, persons with a disability, single parents and those struggling to locate employment. What is evident that that these Australians need better access to services, not barriers to further marginalise them. One should be reminded of the great Mahatma Gandhi who argues that society’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members – how do you think you are going so far Mr Abbott……

    Reply

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