Prime Minister Abbott's refusal to reject the introduction of a $5 copayment for GP services opens the door to the destruction of Medicare as we have known it.  Medicare was always about free point of service GP visits so that those with chronic illness or preventive health screening such as PAP smears and breast checks, would be available for all women - not just those living in leafy lower north shore suburbs.

The introduction of a $5 copayment - which could then be increased annually until the copayment ended up paying the majority of the GP visit - would hurt those with chronic illness who need to see the GP more frequently including the elderly - and would reduce the likelihood for preventive screening for those who need it most.

It would increase overcrowding in our hospital ED emergency departments and would be inevitable followed by the State governments introducing a charge for ED services.


Introducing a $5 copayment is false cost savings as people would stop seeing their GP, ending up sicker and going to hospital - which costs thousands of dollars a day versus current $36 to see a GP bulk billed.

Introducing a $5 copayment for GPs would be followed by copayments for pathology and radiology services - further placing health services out of the reach of the less well off and the sick.


The DRS calls on Prime Minister Abbott to reinforce his previously stated support for Medicare and reject this crazy idea - the false savings by leaving people sick at home until they have to call an ambulance and go to hospital.

Dr con costa                                       Dr Tim Woodruff

President                                             Vice President             

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