GP co-payment finally scrapped 191



View Profile

After months of will they, won’t they, they finally have: the GP co-payment has been dumped.

The Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed that the proposed co-payment scheme would not go ahead and the joint party room agreed to drop it this morning.

So why did they come to this decision after all the high-level talks about it? According to the ABC, Mr Frydenberg said, “There wasn’t enough support for it, particularly in the Senate”.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann predicted the verdict saying last night, “Findings were considered by the Government and will be considered by the party room this morning and no doubt there’ll be some other announcements after that”.

It seems most ministers knew about the GP co-payment being scrapped but Sussan Ley wanted to keep tight lipped about it. There’s also been whispers from the Labor party about the motive behind dumping the co-payment, with health spokeswoman Catherine King saying “Whatever Tony Abbott announces about his GP tax today, it will have one aim in mind, and that is keeping his leadership on life support”.
The original plan to charge bulk-billed patients $7 to see a doctor was deeply unpopular and was major hassle, with it being approved then not approved. It seems that a lot of time has been wasted on this back and forth-ing.
Clive Palmer also gave his two cents, telling ABC News Breakfast that the Palmer United Party “don’t think you should tamper with Medicare at all, that’s the reality of it…Every Australian should be entitled to best healthcare”. Is he right?
“The policy was never one which was going to improve general practice or make the healthcare system more sustainable, so we are pleased that finally we can end some of the uncertainty around that aspect of the co-payment proposal”, said Australian Medical Association president Dr Brian Owler.

He made a comment that surely echoes the sentiments of those who have watched the co-payment debacle: “We’ve spent the last 10 months haggling over co-payments and I think the tragedy of this whole period is that other health policy has been neglected”.

SMH reports that the government will push ahead with a planned freeze on indexation for all Medicare rebates to 2018, which is expected to save more than $1 billion over four years.

Joe Hockey told reporters that the $5 rebate cut would cost the budget “a little less than $1 billion” over four years. “We’ve obviously listened to the medical community and we are going to continue to work closely with the medical community,” he said. “But it’s vitally important we continue on the path of getting to the point where we as a nation are living within our means”.


What do you think about the scrapped co-payment? Does this surprise you? How would a GP co-payment have affected your life?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. There are other plans afoot unfortunately that will force GPs to charge and not bulk bill. They are thinking of cutting the bulk bill amount paid to GPs.

  2. don’t bloody bet on that, it will come through the back door

    4 REPLY
    • Already happening, went to bulk bill clinic for ex ray, was told we can ex ray this but if we are to do the full ex ray you will have to pay $100.00.

    • oh no..I have to go get xrays for a specialist appointment I have..I better ask when I ring to make the appointment ..thanks June

    • glad to hear you are in favour of doctors ripping of medicare to the tune of 80/1oo consultations a day and getting FULL payment for everyone …get angry with your doctor not the govt who is trying to repair the damage greedy doctors are doing to medicare

    • Yes,,Graeme, that’s correct,,,and the people that go to the doctor for any little sniffle don’t help.

  3. It was all a huge rip-off any way. None of the money charged was even going to Medicare!
    I’m relieved because charging a co-payment is the beginning of the end for a universal health care system. Of course we all knew it wasn’t going to stay $7 – and no one would ever admit how much blood tests, imaging, x-rays etc were going to cost – let alone hospital appointments and stays.

  4. I am of the opposite opinion voiced here – I do not think our Medicare system can support all of us much longer. What is the issue with $5 co payment – gee I paid $65 to see a Dr today and get back a lesser amount – so drrrr. Why is it in this country many people expect a handout by the Govt when its the working taxpayers money subsidizing those others.We are spoilt in Australia try being in need of medical assistance in the USA ??????

    19 REPLY
    • I think you missed the point Cheryl. They lied, no iff’ s no butt’s the $5.00 co-payment was earmarked to fund a multi million dollar research centre, and at the same time they cut funding to the CSIRO research and sacked 100 staff.

    • Had the CSIRO done more research and less political activism they might well have not lost anyone.

    • Yes try country or rural towns in riverland s.a. money up front no gaps no bulk bill no return to bank you have to send it away your self.

    • The issue with the $5 co payment was it was not a co payment. It was a flat out money grabbing lie. No one cent of it was going to “sustain” medicare. $2 of the $7 was going to the medical provider to cover the admin costs of collecting the other $5. That $5 was going into a money box to be saved up to build a twenty billion dollar medical research centre in TWENTY YEARS TIME. Please. That was never going to happen. This was only ever about dismantling medicare.

      Medicare is paid for by a levy on our taxable income. This government has already increased that levy. Nobody complained. We accept that the costs of everything goes up each passing year. The supposed co payment however was a lie. It was never intended to go into healthcare to sustain medicare. Worse it was more often than not never going to be $7. Every single scan, blood test or X-ray etc., that resulted from your consultation was another $7 per service.

    • The CSIRO doesn’t go in for political activism Ken the science is the science. It might not agree with a political view but it is still the science. That some of those scientists care passionately about their field and can feel frustrated that so many people prefer to believe or push an unscientific stance for economics or politics must frustrate the hell out of them. All these arm chair experts know more than a scientist who has specialised and spend years working in a particular field of science.

    • I totally agree – people think Australia is a bottomless pit of money – its got to come from somewhere. The copayment was only going to affect pensioners for 1 year. Now something else will have to give – perhaps welfare cuts – and that will start a whole new round of complaints. And before I get the usual – oh I suppose u r rich – the answer is NO. Had to retire early with min super due to ill health – and no I don’t get any govt handouts – for medical treatment prescriptions – nada. By the time I reach 65 in 2016 – there will prob b nothing left in the kitty!

    • well if your right..then what your saying is this Liberal Government that you voted for is wrong..and I agree with you, they were wrong to even try to make any changes

    • Well it cant whilst you have people who have private medical insurance clogging up the elective surgery list for things such as pacemakers and defibrilators …BECAUSE the dint want to pay the excess on their claims and the other large user of medicare is a government error in that they will not allow you to claim your doctors bill from you private health insurance you can only claim the doctor bill if you are in hospital..well look at what medicare would save if patients could claim tge doctors bill on health insurance. The private insurance has just had a price rise of 6.2 percent to cover what????gym shoes and solarium tans instead of good old fashioned health cover.

    • the government is trying to get down the country’s debt Like if a household is in debt and spending too much you cut back

    • You get back 37.80 the same as tge dictor gets when he bulk bills so your doctor bill would have become seventy dollars and you rebate would then be 32.80 the same as tge doctor would have recieved when he bulk billed and the patient payed tge five dollars to cover the shortfall. You really should make sure that you actually understand what was to have happened before you jump up and down.

    • I do not expect handouts from the government. I have paid taxes for 43 years and I expect the government to use that money wisely assisting the Aged,chronically ill,disabled and homeless. If more money is needed for Medicare,then increase taxes.

    • I am with you Cheryl! Selfish people are only worried about themselves and not the whole country. As you say the Medicare system will soon not be able to cover the costs. Something has to give. The aged pensioners, children under 16 and and other disadvantaged were never going to have to pay. They were exempt. We have to stop the hand outs!

    • I think we are becoming ungovernable. There does need to be some sort of payment, Medicare in its present form will not be around forever. As Scott Morrison said we need to decrease welfare in small increments now not in one big hit in future years.

  5. It is good that it is scrapped but this government is sneaky we will see!

  6. the last time this was tryed it met the same fate, now with millions spent on trying to bring it in will probably go ,lost for ever or else in polies pockets as it did befor

  7. How much time and money has been wasted on this idea that went absolutely nowhere. I dread to think of the waste involved!

  8. about bloody time Mr Abbort you dick head how much longer do we have to put up with your shit there are 3 ready to take your place we you voted for the libs not just youu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *