An improvement for proposed Copayment plan
The government’s new plan to reduce medicare rebates by $5 is an improvement on the federal budget proposal of the $7 copayment for a visit to a doctor.
Yes, the cost of visiting the doctor for most of us may increase and responsibility for controlling costs will be passed to our overworked general practitioners. However, free doctor visits will continue to be available for children and pensioners; this will include pathology tests and xrays.
We meet many people at Samaritans who would avoid doctor visits if there was a cost or they would delay their visits until their condition was critical. Australia has a good health care system and universal access to primary care visits to GPs is a key part of this.
In USA more is spent on health care than in Australia, but people on low incomes miss out. We must avoid Americanising our health care system and maintain free health care for our most vulnerable citizens. If we don’t we will all be diminished.