“The attack on Medicare funding announced in the Federal Budget has the potential to lead to significantly worse health outcomes for Australians – especially for those from lower socio-economic groups”
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) President Dr Frank R Jones.
“The extension of the freeze on Medicare rebates until 2020 is a false health economy which will impact the people who will pay the most – those who can afford it the least – ordinary Australians who have to see their GP,” Dr Jones said.
“Patients will delay presentation to their GPs, which is a real concern with on-cost implications.”
“That’s why the RACGP is today launching a campaign to alert the public to the danger of what these new measures mean and to call for the next Government to provide sufficient long-term funding to maintain our world-class healthcare system.”
The campaign will galvanise the RACGP’s 30,000-plus members to inform their patients about the danger of the most recent cuts to Medicare and what the measure will mean for them. In 2015 the nation’s GPs saw 84 percent of Australia’s population providing almost 140 million patient services at a fraction of the cost of more expensive hospital and other specialist care.
During the campaign GPs and the public will be encouraged to use the Twitter hashtag #youvebeentargeted and send template letters to political candidates to express their frustration and demand for a commitment to sufficiently funding patient services.
“The RACGP wants this campaign to reveal which candidates are publicly committed to protecting Medicare, and which ones aren’t. We want them to pledge their support for an adequately funded world-class health system, including an immediate lift of the freeze.”
“The RACGP is seeking progressive health reform and a genuine commitment to the future of our healthcare system from our political leaders and we are committed to discussing funding models for a sustainable and effective primary health care system.”
Extending the freeze on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will mean the value of patient rebates to visit their GP will fall by 20% in real terms by 2020.
Practices or practitioners are small businesses and will not be able to continue the present quality of health service provision for their communities without lifting the freeze.