Doctors warn against upcoming Medicare changes

The government is set to trial a new payment system with Medicare that will cap the number of GP visits
Doctors are warning about changes to Medicare.

The government is set to trial a new payment system with Medicare that will cap the number of GP visits you have every year, but a number of doctors are saying it could leave many patients worse off than they are now.

The new tiered system for people with chronic diseases will see patients receive $1795 a year in GP visits to get treatments and checkups, however, doctors say it appears to be just another cost-cutting exercise by the government, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the Department of Health, patients will only be granted access to Medicare funding for up to five GP visits that are not related to their chronic illness. Under the current Medicare system patients have uncapped access to GP care.

The drastic new system will start next year on a trial basis, with doctors warning it could leave people worse off and out of pocket.

“It sounds more like a cost-cutting exercise or a defunding exercise, and that’s the last thing we need if we are to have a sustainable healthcare system that provides quality healthcare for patients,” RACGP president Dr Bastian Seidel told SMH.

“It’s really difficult to see what patients gain. For our patients, I can’t see a major benefit compared to the current system.”

The government has put aside more than $100 million for stage one of the trial, but AMA vice-president Dr Tony Bartone says that amount is “quite inadequate” and will not be enough for people with chronic conditions.

“We’re concerned that the trial will fail and it’s too important an initiative to fail,” Dr Bartone said.

However, a spokesperson for Health Minister Sussan Ley says the new system is about streamlining Medicare and making is easier for patients and doctors.

“At the heart of stage one is an attempt to address common patient concerns that there is fragmented care being delivered under existing arrangements and we are looking at delivering Medicare in a more flexible and targeted way to co-ordinate clinical resources to meet patient needs,” they said.

What are your thoughts on this new payment system? Do you think it will work? Do you like the system we already have?

  1. The watcher  

    The usual MO. Defund de resource, claim its not working. Sell to lieberal mates.

    • Guy Flavell  

      WHAT UTTER NONSENSE !!! No-one on God’s earth could be convinced to buy this mess. It bloody well loses $11 billion each year. No, don’t defund it or reduce resources … just try to
      make Medicare work efficiently and cost effectively. Medicare is screaming out for intelligent restructuring and reform otherwise it’ll self-destruct, sadly at the cost of all Australians.

    • Guy Flavell  

      Hey Trude, that was an interesting comment. Must have been fun typing all those numbers.
      But, I guess it all must have been very important for you to go to so much trouble.
      I see you’re still wearing those delightful red panties. Your “misogynist” mate, Guy

  2. patricia dick  

    Medicare is being destroyed piece by piece and we all sit and put up with it.
    Labor were completely correct with the Mediscare campaign. It is happening
    a bit at a time. Eventually it will be a hollow shell.

    • The confected outrage of the LNP at Labor’s “Mediscare” now makes Turnbull & cohorts look pretty damn stupid yet somehow they hold their heads high and continue their outrage whilst at the same time, continuing to gut Medicare. Why people didn’t believe Labor, back then, I don’t know. The Liberals threw out the first universal health scheme (brought in by Labor) as soon as they were returned to government and Labor had to start all over again. This is history! People just don’t learn. Why?

  3. Liz Williams  

    What is that saying ‘if it ain’t broken don’t fix it?” – are we heading to the way of the US – no money no treatment? Bet all those who voted liberal are now sorry – as they are the ones who have given this government the power to try this garbage – be a different story if one of them were in the place of the ordinary working man.

  4. Truth 13  

    The TWO greatest achievements by any government, in the history of Australia are, Medicare & Superannuation. Who was responsible in giving these to the people ? ONLY LABOUR PARTY. What did the Liberal party give to the people, that has some value to the people. NOTHING. Now Liberal Party wants to destroy the two most important “GIFTS” ever given to the people, as they have nothing the harp about. Once these two are gone, Australia will be just like USA, bankrupt, rich people & business don’t pay tax, poor will be thrown in the gutters, if they are unable to pay the medical bills, pension will be denied to seniors, while the rich will rejoice, at the expense of 90% of the people. When looked at the history of countries, who deprived & mistreated the poor, all countries ended up with a revolution. Look at USA, the Tea Party against UK, the industrial revolutions in UK, French, political revolutions in Russian & Chinese, toppling of governments in many African, South American and several Asian countries, happened, when the wealthy rulers tried to grab everything & treat the others like rubbish. By the looks of what the Liberal Party is trying to do, give tax cuts to the BIG business and deny pensions & other benefits to the people, who earned it paying taxes, will not tolerate for too long, will rise and fight, and the country will have a revolution by the Seniors, Students & the poor, very soon. That will bring ONE RULE FOR EVERYONE, rich, poor, sick, disable or politician.

    • “The TWO greatest achievements by any government, in the history of Australia are, Medicare & Superannuation. Who was responsible in giving these to the people ?” Yes, Labor, who also gave us sick leave, annual leave, the 40 hour week, workplace H & S and so much more, many of which the LNP are unravelling. You see, the LNP just don’t like us.

  5. Sandra Workman  

    Just how many lies and how much deception can this lot come up with. If you gave multiple chronic conditions do you get multiple visit allowance? Wake up you lot they ARE in the process of dismantling Medicare it is them that are lying not the Labor “scare?” Compaign

    • paul  

      yes I seem to remember that there were promises saying no changes to medicare….or have I forgotten to take my memory pills…..just saying

  6. OK NOW I’m really getting scared I’m at the beginning of just trying to find out what the issue is with a developing GI issues. WHO DO I THINK FOR THIS

  7. I’m too flabbergasted to even comment, but I will. I have multiple chronic conditions so do I get say, 4 times the $1795 of have to cram it all in the $1795. My husband has Parkinsons and some other conditions too does he get 5 times the $1795. This is the biggest load of b.s. What happens with hospital stays. The next thing will be compulsory private health funds. We can’t even live on the pension let alone private health care. Hello USA here come the Aussies. This is the biggest load of cobliosis I have ever heard.

    • Kitty Cas  

      I have around 34+ conditions, from all parts of my body. I am having a hard time with all the bills I have racked up. And now I will be so screwed. Disability sucks all by itself, and is very stressful. Now what am I going to do?πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ˜·πŸ’‰πŸ’Š

  8. Lost in Oklahoma  

    This is so messed up. My husband had an aortic dissection. He was in a coma for 26 days. Every organ in his body shut down. He was on life support for those 26 days. He got pneumonia and his body turned septic. He had to be reopened 2 more times the following 2 months. He had many strokes while in his coma which effected his vision (he sees double now). He has to see his doctors once a month. What the hell are we to do if this becomes effective? We can’t afford to pay out of pocket! Money is tight. I feel a lot of people will/are going to die due to not being allowed to see their doctors. What are they thinking? I feel like those making these decisions need to be in the chronic ill’s situation and witness exactly what they are doing.

  9. Cannot believe anything this LNP government says. Of course it will not be better for anyone with a chronic illness or requiring longterm treatment. Just ridiculous cost cutting!

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