23 crucial items to be removed immediately from Medicare Benefits Scheme

Medicare can be a lifesaver – literally – for so many people, yet more and more is being cut in

Medicare can be a lifesaver – literally – for so many people, yet more and more is being cut in what was supposed to be a review of the benefits scheme.

The latest news reveals Health Minister Sussan Ley’s plan to slash 23 items from the MBS. In a media release, Ms Ley said, “Recent public consultation undertaken as part of the MBS Taskforce’s work demonstrates the important support amongst health professionals for this clinical process, with over 93 per cent surveyed agreeing parts of the MBS were out-of-date and required review”.

The first stage of the review has recommended “immediate removal of lower-volume MBS items in some specific specialities where there is clinical consensus that they are ‘obsolete’ and no longer represent clinical best-practice”, she said.

There are 23 MBS items in total recommended for removal in this first stage of work from a handful of specialities, including:

        • Diagnostic imaging – 7 items
        • Ear, nose, and throat surgery – 9 items
        • Gastroenterology – 5 items
        • Obstetrics – 1 item
        • Thoracic medicine – 1 item

“These 23 MBS items were used a combined total of 52,500 times in 2014-15, worth $6.8 million in Medicare benefits paid”, the media release reads.

The Health Minister reassured that the Government is trying to clean up the MBS: “Never has such a comprehensive review of all 5700 items on the MBS been undertaken since Medicare’s inception in the 1980s and many more items will require more in-depth, complex evaluation“. 

“My number one priority for this MBS review has always been, and remains, building a healthier Medicare for Australian patients, health professionals and taxpayers and I am determined to deliver it”, she concluded.

Tell us, will these cuts affect you? Are you happy with the MBS review so far or do you think patients will be left worse off?

  1. dont like this at all why should australians suffer..stop sending money overseas and help our own backyard ..i wont be voting if this goes through parliament

    • That is part of our problem, Noelene. People who do not vote. We all need to consider carefully and then cast a vote. Saying you ‘won’t be voting’ fixes or changes nothing.

    • The other political parties will offer no other solution either Noelene, although they may try to bluff that they will, but remember the last six years of Labor government disaster. They are clueless & we will end up in a far worse position with their reckless spending sprees, which is still being addressed by the current government

    • They may have spent but we were never a laughing stock until Liberal came into office. It has been one disaster after another. We are in worse debt now than under Labor and Labor kept us out of a recession. They spent and we spent. If Liberal really cared about all Australians go after the big businesses that aren’t paying tax.That is criminal.

    • I think they suck up to overseas countries close to us, so they won’t become our enemies in the future. all decisions made are deep and complex and not interested so much in individuals. That’s how I read it.

    • Alannah Warren : Labor under Gillard was not disaster. She got more done than any other Govt in her short time there. What her problem was, she was too soft on Rudd. If we had a Liberal Federal Govt during the GFC we would have had more homeless, more bankruptcies and possibly more deaths, just so long as the Gina’s could make their claim for subsidies and the coal industry which is dying a fast death around the globe is alive and well here.
      The 2 party preferred system has made both parties complacent, maybe it is only a matter of time before they change about and I wonder sometimes if they don’t have some sort of agreement about this. As for spending sprees, have a look at Howard’s spending whilst he was in office. It is well documented. And he was promising Costello the big job when he retired. Now that to me smacks of nepotism.

    • Noelene have you even looked at what proceedures are being dropped and what are being added? It is called keeping up with advances in medical technology.

    • Darrell Warrington : You are right, we are basically an Anglo country in an Asian region and even the agreements we have made with the USA reflect better for them than us. If they want help, we go, If we ask for help, we get advice. That is the agreement that was hailed and a win-win breakthrough for Australia, Seems we have still not got past the “convict heritage” mentality.

    • Jean Anderson Campbell, the ATO has just advised 600 corporations paid no tax in 2013/14 financial year 🌸

    • Have had private health cover for almost 45 years, will be reviewing now. Stop paying the pollies their mega bucks, their pensions and perks and maybe Turnbull would like to invest some of his mega millions into Medicare, maybe then Australia will have a better health system. Australia is no longer Australia, the majority of the country is now owned by overseas conglomerates who dicatate to the government. Just my view.

      • Robb Gee  

        When are you lot going to stop carping on about politicians pay? We pay them so poorly we get mediocre stage strutters for government.

        We need to stop “refugee” immigrants who come here to live off us. We also need to get the sluggardly back to work and look after those who really need the help. Review our tax system, make everyone pay their share and stop giving money to other countries who take it with one hand and give us their arrogant advice with the other.

        Some modernisation of Medicare is necessary to reflect advances in medicine if the saved money is diverted to other Medicare services for Australian citizens and residents.

    • Anne Webber would that be because it cost them more to operate the businesses than they received in income? income from sale commodities took a dive while wages took a hike due to the increase in minimum wage. or are you suggesting they all use volunteer labour & donated equipment, therefore shouldn’t have expenses?

    • Jean Anderson Campbell Don’t you read the paper, FB or watch tv? This has been talked about for the last couple of weeks at least in the media. These companies are making billions but have their smart highly payed accountants minimising their tax, & sending it overseas (to the Cayman Islands?)…..that rings a bell. Remember Kerry Packer in that famous interview, saying that he didn’t pay anymore tax than he had too. No such luck for the people on a wage. Many of them have paid more tax than these billion dollar companies.

    • Medicare was originally set up by the Whitlam to make care affordable for all, not just the wealthy few who oils afford health care, the Liberals have waged a consistent war against this, and will continue to do so, they are a government for the elite

    • Anne Webber says it all, they must still have a hell of lot of businesses to scrutinise . I recall (through the tax agency putting our tax declaration in without our interest earnt that year) it got $325 Interest that year. Our penalty was pay the Tax Dept $650. So u maybe able to imagine how much I earned hat year.We were devastated.

    • Owen Gustafson who do you vote for. Join a party and you might find out how they are suppose to function and u can make a difference.

    • I don’t know what will effect me, because starts at 60’s your report didn’t outline what was being removed. Our health minister (what’s her name?) is not consulting with people. can someone clarify for me who is entitled to Medicare or is it means tested? But this is how phycal this system is and even the patient doesn’t understand. This family was overseas on a ski holiday, the mother, on second to last day of holiday, snapped her acrutia ligaments in her right knee. Is fully covered by travel insurance, a special cover for skiing. Everything was done right in the skiing country, xrays, receipts, getting back to Australia, went to dr had a full MRI done (bulk billed ) went to specialists if she paid for that she would keep receipt for claim, then she has to have an aultrsound. $185, this can be claimed on her travel insurance. Has to have major surgery at the end of the month. Can someone tell me what is wrong with this true scenario .

    • Rachel Rush i am like you too Rachel. not sure what they are deletiing, they are not too clear on them yet, but whatever they are doing doesnt sound good to me.

  2. As I am not a Doctor, I am not in a position to really comment or comprehend what is being removed, however would be keen to hear from some Doctors who understand situation !!!

    • Yvonne you are either delusional or misled to believe natural medicine can cure and treat all illnesses it can never completely replace clinical diagnosis by medically trained people and diagnostic tos like medical imaging would be nice if natural medicine was a fix all solution but it is not sadly

    • Prevention is better than a cure!!!!
      Eat well , exercise.
      Have to stay out of the medical system. Take care of your own health .
      It’s not easy but can be done.

    • Yvonne Temoananui Martin : they are OK if you are basically healthy to start with to maintain your health, but it will not hep if you have a chronic illness.

    • Stricter controls on the dole, stricter controls on people who doctor shop, cut the pension rate of the politicians to the same rate as everyone else, tight controls on disabled pensions( not everyone wroughts the system but if you believe what you see on TV a lot do. Perhaps Myki etc and the East West link wastage may have helped a lot also!

    • John seems a stupid question……we pay for it the same way we have paid for years…..there must be things in your life, like rent, mortgage or rates that you have no control over so you have to pay…..try going to the council and telling them you don’t now go to school so you want to cut out that part of your rates…..what would they tell you…..you pay for it

  3. Anne adams  

    Of course we will be worse off. People will die because of these cuts.

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