Doctors question the timing of planned Medicare cuts

Yesterday, Starts At Sixty reported on the government’s plan to slash 23 items from the current Medicare Benefits Schedule. Twenty-three

Yesterday, Starts At Sixty reported on the government’s plan to slash 23 items from the current Medicare Benefits Schedule. Twenty-three items will be removed from services such as diagnostic imaging, gastroenterology and ENT surgeries, equating to over $6 million each year.

Now the Australian Medical Association has suggested the government may be avoiding scrutiny by announcing cuts throughout the holidays. It’s president, Dr Brian Owler, said “we need to make sure this is not going to adversely affect patients and make procedures more expensive for them”.

“It’s odd that the minister would put out a press release on the first things to be cut from the MBS in the heart of the quietest time between Christmas and New Year. We’ve seen that thing before, making announcements when people are away”, Dr Owler said.

Dr Owler also explained that proposed cuts to common procedures such as tonsillectomies would cost patients more, because the government will no longer subsidise items such as anaesthetics. He added, “our concern is that patients don’t go without services due to these changes”.

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has dismissed this opinion though. “I don’t view it as a cost-cutting exercise at all. I view it as realising where there is inefficiency”, she said. “This is taxpayers’ dollars going into the health system and effectively not leading to health outcomes for people”.

Do you believe the government has deliberately timed its Medicare cuts? Do you think less people will be aware of this issue at Christmas time? Do you agree with the AMA’s belief that less subsidies will costs patients, both in terms of their health and finance?

  1. We are all going to end up with american system where the rich wll be looked after and the rest of us can go to hell!

  2. Of course they did and it is wrong.I said yesterday tax the big companies who have avoided paying.Leave Medicare alone.

  3. Surely us Australians who pay our taxes should have a good health system . Malcolm Turnball the governent is too quick to give money to other countries well how about you start looking after the people in Australia first . you need to earn your stripes or u are out !!!

  4. Yes it is suspicious announcing it when a lot of people are on holiday, this would have to be one of the most deceitful and underhanded GOVERNMENTS we have ever had. They just recently gave themselves a very good pay rise at a time when they don’t have money for HEALTH AND EDUCATION, let alone anything else yet they think that they are entitled to it. NO THEIR NOT THEY ARE ALREADY OVERPAID. Especially when All they have done is SCREW THIS COUNTRY. Bring on the ELECTION.

  5. Disgraceful how they can justify their recent pay rise and then cut back on essential health issues. Maybe they just want us to go away quietly and forget we existed

    • Because they are actually using the data and governing the nation not rolling over to wingers.

  6. agree with all comments, leave it alone we have enough to contend with, without having to pay even more for our medical procedures, this would be costly for everyone, what happens to our taxes? and the medicare levy?? and Yes definatly Charity should begin at home, I object to sending money overseas when there is so much wrong here.

  7. We already pay for our Medicare levy when we do our TAX now this government want to charge us more for having urgent medical Tests done

  8. I want my tax dollars from the levy we pay to go only on the health of all Australians….I do not wish my tax to go towards subsidies for the multinationals, or life pensions of politicians….If my trusted doctor tells me that I need to have a test or procedure, I will trust my doctor …. not this government to tell me what is necessary and what is not….

  9. We will be going away quietly with all the polluted food that’s coming in from China. The Chinese won’t eat it, but hello they’re sending our good food to the Chinese , while they think we will eat polluted Chinese food.

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