Forget the GP co-payment, there’s another co-payment that could hurt our hip pocket 187



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For months now, there’s been a focus on the Abbott Government’s push for a GP co-payment, but they have been keeping mum on something that will have a substantial effect if brought in: a co-payment on medication.

Currently, pensioners and those with concessional benefits have access to a health care card, which makes the co-payment $6.10, and for the rest of us, we pay the first $37.70. However, the 2014 Budget contained a $5 increase in the level of these payments…and it could still pass the Senate.

There is already research to suggest that increases in a co-payment could mean some people could go without vital medication.

A Melbourne University study was conducted to see the effects of this price increase on those who take vital medication, such as statins, which are the most commonly prescribed in Australia. They require long-term use so that they can reduce heart disease and the study found that it may cause some people to forgo renewing a script.

Of the 1315 patients who participated in the AusHEART study, 12 per cent discontinued their medicine and nine per cent did not take them as directed. Those without a concession were 1.63 times more likely to stop taking the life-saving anti-cholesterol medications.

According to The Conversation, “when considering a policy that will increase drug costs, the government needs to consider more than just direct financial impact. Potential downstream costs, such as changes in number of hospitalisations, and health impacts, such as the policy’s effect on the risk of premature mortality, should also be considered”.

For the time ever, doctors and consumers will have a say in the price they will pay chemists for prescriptions, according to Health Minister Sussan Ley. Currently, medicine prices are partly determined by a $15 billion 5-year agreement between the government and the Pharmacy Guild.

Former health minister Peter Dutton said that failure to get the policy through the Senate is costing the government $20 million a month.

NewsCorp reports that Australians are still paying many times more for the statin drugs than patients in Britain and the US and that the $5 hike can only worsen the impact on those who are already struggling.


Would you be happy to front another $5 on top of your co-payment for crucial medications? Should we just pay it or should we challenge it? Would you struggle to come up with the extra money? 

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  1. Please no. For someone on multiple medications, that’s very unhelpful. What does the Govt have against people who don’t make millions?

    3 REPLY
    • I think we have all had enough of is like sitting on a time bomb and it keeps exploding and taking a bit out of us

    • Mike here-I believe that the honourable? treasurer hit the nail on the head when he pronounced we pensioners as leaners not lifters.

  2. I realise the current administration has a hard task ahead to repair the folly of their predecessors,but they need to look elsewhere than causing hardship for those now in their twilight years.I like many others,worked hard for our nation.Let those who have benefited from this now contribute to our wellbeing.This,afterall,was the very principle the pension scheme was founded on

    10 REPLY
    • Learn from the past and move on. There’s no point blaming previous governments (they each have their faults). The current government was elected to run the machine as best they can, but attacking those who built this country is not the solution. Go after the ones who are cheating Australia of millions of dollars instead.

    • mike here-I worked hard & fought a war in the name of my country, don’t make the year I sacrificed for my country in that war & the extra 5 years I spent in the Army a waste.

    • This cureent government doubled the deficit in just 7 months of government and with the budget as written have doubled again. The removal of the carbon price and the mining tax has had a huge impact on tax revenue so put the blame squarely wher it belongs…..with the abbott government.

    • when yo pick up your medications check the real price on the packet i am subsidised $350 bucks a month and with the safety nett i pay nothing for part of the year…. do we realy think that when you multiply this by .millions the govt can just keep shelling out more and more when tax increases are apposed with hysterical vigour …is it beyond the average australian to realize that spending more than is recieved is a recipe for disastor .on the topic of pollies salarys it is interesting to know that williamson jailed union boss was on 500000 a year / world vision australia [a charity.] ceo tim costello 400000 bucks a year .so what should we pay pollys to run the biggest business in australia when compared to the private sector salaries …..would paying less than they are now get better pollies ?????

    • Finally a comment that is not insulting. So sick of our governments blaming each other. We need to get on with it..perhaps their would still be a free system after a certain dollar amount had been reached….it is all recorded when you pick up your scripts…just so sick of listening to people wanting a better deal but cannot part with anything

    • Mike here-I brlieve that we do have that already Jenny, it’s called the safety net. Works for me.

    • that is a bit rude coming from you Jenny Anne Collier , I just read on another post you asking how to get a health care card? You must have to much money to qualify or you have been sent one

  3. I was hit over $40 this month for a newly prescribed medication that I may need to be on for some time. Add to this my existing medication and I am seriously asking myself what tablets can I do without. I don’t know who saves money if I request generics, but it certainly isn’t me. I usually find I am paying the same price or very close to it.

  4. THIS cruel govt is paying 350 bucks to subsidise my tablets EVERY month .multiply that by millions of pensioners and think about the numbers coming onto the pension…no wonder the govt is worried about how to pay for it .but iguess that is their problem why should we worry nothing to do with us WAKE UP AUSTRALIA a new adult attitude is needed

    3 REPLY
    • Mkke here-& when our gov awardsitself another ludicrously obscene pay rise shall we accept that also as something that has to happen?

    • would cutting pollies pay improve the standard of pollies i think not the best people for the job are already getting much more in the private sector .even the jailed union boss williamson was on more than the pm

  5. We also need to remember that the $7 co payment is just the normal doctors appointment; the same applies to the whole list of other services which the doctor may refer us to.

    1 REPLY

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