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Practices on the North Coast are beginning to feel the effects of the Coalition's freeze on Medicare rebates. Several practices are foreshadowing changes to their billing practices with rises in fees and decreases in bulk billing expected. 

Patients can expect to see flyers and posters such as those below encouraging patients to contact their local members, the Minister for Health and the Prime Minister about the effects the rebate freeze will have on both themselves as individuals and more generally on the Australian health system.

It is anticipated that this will become an increasingly significant issue over the next 12 months in the lead up to the next Federal election.

 

Flyer

Stop The Freeze

To Our Valued Patients

The Federal Government’s freeze on the Medicare Rebate means there will be no increase to Medicare rebates for GP visits until 2018.

The rebate freeze applies to the entire Australian population and will lead to higher gap payments for you and reduce the number of bulk-billed consultations our practice can offer for those in need.

The Medicare rebate freeze shifts costs onto patients and will lead to fewer people seeing their GP and increase the number of people going directly to hospital. This will increase health spending NOT create budget savings.

It would be less expensive to pay for someone to see their GP every week for a year than it would be to pay for them to be admitted to hospital for just one day.

We understand how important your health is and we will do our best to help. However, our practice simply cannot afford to absorb the Abbott Government’s freeze on Medicare rebates.

If you want to stop the government’s rebate freeze you need to change its mind. Write, or even better call, your local Member of Parliament, the Minister for Health and the Prime Minister to reverse the freeze.

Member for Richmond

Justine Elliot MP

Labor Member for the Electorate of Richmond

Suite 6, Hallmark Centre,

107-111 Minjungbal Drive

Tweed Heads South, NSW, 2486

Phone: (02) 6621 4044 Fax: (02) 6621 4255 

Member for Page

Kevin Hogan MP

National Party Member for the Electorate of Page

63 Molesworth St,

Lismore, NSW, 2480

Phone: (02) 6621 4044 Fax: (02) 6621 4255 

Minister for Health

The Hon Sussan Ley, MP

Liberal Party Minister for Health and Sports

PO Box 672

ALBURY NSW 2640

Phone: (02) 6021 3264 Fax: (02) 6021 6620

The Prime Minister

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP

Liberal Party Prime Minister

PO Box 450

Manly, NSW, 2095

Phone: (02) 9977 6411 Fax: (02) 9977 8715 

References 

  1. Stephen Duckett: GP co-payment by stealth, posted May 2015
  2. Australian Doctor: MBS Freeze Hits, posted July 2015
  3. March Quarter Consumer Price Index ​2015
  4. Australian Centre for the Medical Home, posted November 2014
  5. Independent Hospital Pricing Authority Annual Report 2014