Friday 25th of May 2018

joe hockey — a shot in the arm for the pubs of australia...


dr joe's orders

Forget inflation; forget the government bond rate. Treasurer Joe Hockey on Thursday morning injected a new price measure into the political lexicon: the Middy Exchange Rate (MER).

In an interview with the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann on Thursday morning, Mr Hockey said Labor and doctors’ groups needed a reality check on the impact of a $7 Medicare co-payment on GP visits

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Doctors will be financially penalised $11 for bulk-billing concession card holders and children under the government's proposed changes to Medicare.

The Australian Medical Association says small medical practices could lose up to 25% of their income if they continue to bulk-bill.

AMA president, Steve Hambleton, said: “The government is replacing a very straight, a very simple, very clear system with a very complex, very obtuse co-payment system which requires new software,” he said.

Hambleton said the policy would hit the most disadvantaged the hardest including low-income earners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with chronic illnesses.

“It’s a nightmare,” he said.

Currently doctors receive a $36.60 rebate from the government for each patient they see, which will be reduced to $31.60 under the new system. In metropolitan areas doctors receive a $6 low-gap incentive payment when they bulk-bill concession card holders and children under 16.

Under the new system doctors will only receive the low-gap incentive if they charge the co-payment. So instead of receiving the $42.60 they currently get for bulk-billing a disadvantaged patient, they will receive $31.60. If they charge the co-payment they will get $44.60 for treating a disadvantaged patient.


the libs (CONservatives) want to destroy medicare...

THE federal opposition has warned it won't horse-trade over the government's planned Medicare co-payment, which looks unlikely to pass through the Senate.

Labor, the Australian Greens and the Palmer United Party (PUP) have all declared they will oppose the $7 payment to see the doctor, which the coalition says will help pay for its new Medical Research Future Fund.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is open to "horse-trading" to get his government's first budget through the Senate.

But opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King dispelled any thoughts Labor may be willing to negotiate on the co-payment, which it has dubbed a "GP tax".

"We will not horse-trade ever on an issue that means that patients, the most vulnerable Australians, will be forced to pay more for their healthcare," she told ABC Radio on Thursday.

Linking the medical research fund to the co-payment - which will raise $3.5 billion over five years - was "entirely cynical".

"How cynical to make people pay for it out of the back of a GP tax," Ms King said.