Doctors issue warning over Medicare

There are rising concerns we could soon be paying more for a trip to the doctor.
Health care costs are in the spotlight again.

Some of Australia’s leading doctors have come out swinging and issued a stern warning to new Health Minister Greg Hunt about Medicare.

Doctors from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) say they are genuinely concerned the government will increase the Medicare levy in the next budget, leaving millions of Aussies out of pocket.

“We’ve heard many rumours that the government is looking at an increase to the Medicare levy,” AMA vice president Tony Bartone told Yahoo News.

He said there are fears the government could raise the levy by a whopping five per cent in a bid to reduce debt and get the budget back in the black, instead of using the extra cash to boost the health system.

A five per cent increase would produce around $4 billion in extra revenue for the government, but if that money isn’t being used to improve health services around the country Mr Bartone says it’s just plain wrong.

“We’re asking the government to channel every single dollar of that increase into Medicare and public hospital funding,” he said.

The government has been plagued by rumours it will increase fees and costs under Medicare ever since the election last year when Labor ran a ‘scare campaign’ on the issue.

With Sussan Ley booted out only two weeks ago, the pressure is on Mr Hunt to rise to the occasion.

He has said he has a strong commitment to Medicare, but didn’t rule out any changes to it in the budget.

“I have, and we have, a rock solid commitment to the future of Medicare,” he said last week.

Many are already starting to worry about how changes to the system would affect them, with over 60s particularly affected by GP fees and hospital visits.

Do you think the government will increase the Medicare levy? Do you have a message for Greg Hunt about this?

  1. Sue B  

    Leave the Medicare levy alone!!!! Get rid of Pollitician’s ‘lifetime extras’ before slugging the public for their ineptitude.

    • Deborah Muniz  

      No matter how many times people try to say what they feel about anything when it comes to Medicare, Social security, the poor, Chronially I’ll, etc are all going to do off. We have no say so, no matter what. Trump is in CONTROL now, the rich man. He has no worries, so why not kill off the elderly, poor, etc.. To make him richer???

  2. Therese  

    Amazing – when the media whip up a storm about Trump then Hanson its media hype – now Medicare – why not just call it media hype. They are like mongrel fox terriers – they don’t care what they latch on to friend or foe. We are drip fed by the media, politicians are no better – it makes it really hard to make an informed decision – and we live in a democracy without media censorship!! We are told what the media feels we need to hear – its no longer journalism -its gutter trash

  3. Joy Anne Bourke  


  4. Robert  

    As aged pensioners we pay a $20-00 plus co-payment for a simple visit to the Doctors in Rosebud ,part of Greg Hunts electorate
    He has done nothing for our group in the past and will do nothing in the future. Only interest is self promotion

  5. Diane Thums  

    Leave medicare alone. We already have a Co pay along with our premium. Take extras out of politicans pockets you messed it up. Give S.S. recipients a increase so we can live you got one.

  6. Murray Walker  

    Funds raised from the Medicare Levy must be used in the health system. Raising the level to boost health funding is a reasonable step. To pay down debt close corporate tax loop holes, increase income tax and address politicans expense rorts.

  7. Martin Wild  

    Over the years the population has grown, gotten older,improved and more expensive treatments made available and medicare extended to rebate some services from allied health and nurse practitioners. The original medicare levy never went anywhere near paying for medicare so it is no surprise that it needs increasing. It is outrageous that successive Governments can unilaterally decide to freeze Medicare rebates. After years of not increasing rebates in line with CPI the last 5 years has seen no increase at all.It is not for the Medical Profession to subsidize the health care of the nation.

  8. Hellfire  

    The Medicare Levy falls far short of covering the costs of medical services provided by the Government. It is not a surprise that the levy may need to be increased. A 5% increase in the levy would only be a small increase in cost to the individual taxpayer yet provide a large increase to cover some of the costs to the system and possibly enable more procedures and services to be covered as well. I think most contributors to these comments have not thought this through sufficiently. Government must address the economy and there has to be increases in some areas to fix the economy of this country. We can not continually increase our national debt each year as eventually interest rates will rise and the Government will have to spend a far greater percentage of it’s revenue on covering the interest costs and then will not be able to maintain services without major increases to taxation.

    • jaywalker  

      Perhaps if this government had the guts to tax big business properly it wouldn’t need to increase the levy.

    • Martin Wild  

      I think you are on the right track here.What we need is a “medicare summit” just as hawke and keating had a taxation summit.Medicare is a great concept, a good safety net but was never a “Universal Health System” rather a “Universal Health Insurance System”.With insurance,someone’s gotta pay.

  9. Charlie  

    Why not scrap NDS which sucks large chunk out of medicare levy to save money instead ? How many NDS recipients compare to tax payers or medicare recipients ? Why do we have to subsidize the life-styles of the NDS recipients while we are struggling to make the ends meet ?

  10. Robin  

    What is the bet that this weak gutless Government will also allow those leeches , private health companies to raise their fees by a minimum of 6% again this year, giving those companies billion dollar profits and the ordinary people huge problems staying covered.

  11. Tests  

    People expect the best in health care, but they are unwilling to pay for it. (Well they expect everyone else to pay for it!)

  12. TOM  

    This is what happens when all levels of government sell off all their money making assets to big business. Every politician in Australia has failed the Australian public. The lie that big business can run government assets more efficiently is coming home to roost. As the infrastructure that Australians bought and paid for years ago is being asset stripped to line fat cat CEO’s pockets

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