Medicare rebate freeze to be lifted

You’ve been concerned about the impact to your health services following the Government’s budget release in early-May. Now the issue

You’ve been concerned about the impact to your health services following the Government’s budget release in early-May. Now the issue is front and centre of the election campaign for both the major parties.

According to Labor, it has prescribed some pain relief to doctors and patients by announcing it will lift the Medicare indexation freeze at a cost of $12 billion over the next 10 years.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten and the shadow health minister Catherine King are set to reveal details of the big ticket measure when they visit the New South Wales Central Coast as part of the Labor party’s campaign.

It’s a move that the Australian Medical Association has backed, saying it will give medical professionals the certainty they need.

As a patient, you’re set to reap the rewards too.

“Patients are the big winners from this announcement, especially working families with a few kids, the elderly, the chronically ill and the most vulnerable in the community,” AMA president Brian Owler says.

It comes following accusations from doctors across the country that the Turnbull Government is trying to enforce a GP co-payment by stealth by extending the freeze on Medicare rebates from mid-2018 to mid-2020.

However, health minister Sussan Ley says the latest extension is necessary because of “the current fiscal environment”. She says the Government is committed to a possible review of the freeze as further efficiencies are found.

The Medicare rebate was originally frozen by the former Labor Government in 2012. It was extended by the Abbott Government in 2014 for four more years, and again by the Turnbull Government in its budget until mid-2020 with claims it will save $925.3 million.

Are you concerned about the cost of health care?

  1. Joy Anne Bourke  

    Yes especially for Pensioners, Low Income and those that can’t afford it. People will get sick and not do anything about it.

  2. Frank  

    Another unfunded promise – but it may force the government to re focus on what can and must be done here.

  3. Ian Stocks  

    Come on Starts at 60, your leftest leanings a bit too far with this one. The unfreezing will only go on if Labor gets in and if the Bills are then passed. It is not a fait accompli as the heading and the article is written.

  4. trisha  

    If like our family you can’t afford Private Health Insurance then the choice between Liberals and Labor is simple.
    Labor will support Medicare, Liberals will bit by bit destroy it. So our choice is simple. We need a strong, free
    health service with all services and so our vote will go to Labor.

    • Lynette  

      I totally agree Trisha the Liberals definately want Medicare gone they did it to Medibank so they will do it again with Medicare there will be a lot of people go without healthcare if we loose the system we have and it will be the most vulnerable that suffer

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