Rose City residents sick fear freeze on Medicare rebates

GETTING sick could soon put a bigger dent in the bank balance, with fears tonight's budget could bring a freeze on Medicare rebates.

Patients may soon be left $36.09 out of pocket for a trip to a non-bulk-billing doctor, which is $2.20 more than the current rate.

If the move were to be implemented, the freeze could save the Federal Government $1.54 billion over the next four years.

The Daily News took the issue to its readers on Facebook yesterday, and most users voiced their dissatisfaction with the present health system arrangements

Tarn Kiwichick Hay posted her disapproval of the move.

"I always said Australia has a third world medical system and now this tops it off," she said.

"Do they think we all live on a politician's wage?"

Collette Williamson said doctor visits were becoming less of a priority owing to soaring costs and long waiting times.

Jen Davidson disagreed with most and said the small increase would not be noticed by most people.

She suggested the focus be put onto improving appointment availability, rather than the Medicare rebate freeze.

"$2.20 higher to most is nothing - people need a reality check," she said.

"Pensioners/concession card holders should be mandatory bulk-bill charge in all practices.

"Yes it's really hard to get appointments here, and this needs addressing more so than a $2.20 increase."

The current Medicare rebate amount is $36.30.



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