“The report today that specialists are charging large copayments which inevitably stop patients seeing them is further evidence that governments have little thought for the financial struggle for many patients to access quality health care” said Dr Tim Woodruff, president, Doctors Reform Society. “A second report today from the Grattan Institute show sthe Federal Government could save $445 million yearly if they payed (using our taxes) world market prices for prescriptions. With such savings we could be reducing prescription copayments rather than increasing them.”

“Voluntary doctor imposed copayments in a society in which the sense of entitlement is rampant amongst the rich is leaving patients at the mercy of the extremely variable charity of doctors. We need more salaried public hospital doctors and that requires both Federal and State intervention.”

“The bipartisan agreement by the Coalition and Labor to slug patients $40 for prescription drugs and the more recent Coalition grab for a $5 increase in that government imposed copayment (tax on illness), results in 8-10% of Australians delaying or not filling out their prescriptions because of costs. Patients pay $1.4 billion yearly in prescription drug copayments.

“Copayments stop patients accessing services,” said Dr Woodruff. “Copayments lead to increased suffering. Copayments kill. But in the end they don’t save money. Sick people can’t work, and the costs of dealing with illness poorly treated is ultimately much greater. Where are the politicians who care about people and about investing in health?”

Dr Tim Woodruff Dr Con Costa
President Vice President
Ph 0401042619 Ph 0418400309