It’s just dawning on the public and the media that the Abbott government pulled a swifty before Christmas, reducing the amount of Medicare rebate to General Practitioner doctors, increasing the charge to many patients by $20/visit, ABOVE any out of pocket payments already charged, even more than the $7 copay they ditched because of a public outcry. Here’s my letter to Sussan Ley, Health Minister following Peter Dutton who she replaced recently. And here is her email address if you want to vent your spleen as well.
UPDATED: Letter and her NEW email address via the Dept. of Health
I know you didn’t do this, but it’s in your lap now. Since sending this to your Farrer office, I understand that YOU have come out in SUPPORT of this poorly thought through policy.
Have you been listening to anyone in the media this week about the DAMAGE this change in policy/fees is going to cause? Here’s what I’ve heard:
– extended consultations that are unnecessary, including chats about pets, to meet the 10 min. minimum.
– reduced patient through-put
– reduced number of appointments/day, making access to GPs WORSE
– referrals back to GPs by Emergency Departments STOPPED, making ED services even MORE CLOGGED, cost shifting to STATES; Your party tries this on often. It’s getting to be a very old and tiring strategy.
– more people avoiding going to GPs, the CHEAPEST part of the system through preventative care and check-ups, yet no changes to specialist rebates. How does that make ANY sense?
– parents w/ kids thinking twice about taking their children to the doctor because: NO MONEY for paying
– NEW info: 26% of rebates for short consults average out the longer ones, hence 26% of GP productivity reduced.
– NEW info: rural especially hit hard
I don’t think I need to go on any more. This change will put clinics out of business.
The impact of this change is FAR worse than the $5-7 copay, which was bad enough. Now your government has snuck through a bombshell of a fee increase through a sickening pre-Christmas “gift”.
If you thought this was a one-term government before, which many people already did, this is the last nail in the coffin.
If there isn’t a backdown on this change pretty quick, before bulk billing is totally destroyed, you can kiss your time in any form of government away for at least the next decade. The home budget, which is a REAL budget, will sink your government in a heartbeat.