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
News

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?

Comments