News

Budget doctor price rise will hurt society's most vulnerable

GLADSTONE patients will have to pay more for their health care, with a $7 GP charge in the Federal Budget that health groups say will deter people from seeing a doctor.

Parents are asking when it will stop once a charge is introduced; the aged care sector says it's a complete disaster for the senior community; and one Gladstone doctor says it will lead to poorer outcomes for health.

Gladstone GP Super Clinic director Dr John Bird said the $7 co-payment had nothing economically, politically and least of all medically going for it.

"It will deter the sick and the poor, which will lead to a deteriorated condition to present late," he said.

"One child with meningitis presenting late could end up with a permanent disability.

"It will cost the government and taxpayer more and will lead to poorer outcomes for health."

He said it would shift the demand across to the emergency accident system, and funding costs to the State Government.

"The other thing it will do is lead to a complete breakdown of bulk billing," he said.

Mt Larcom mother-of-three Louisa Pacher said she often took her children to the doctor, especially during cold and flu season.

She said $7 a visit would add up over time.

"It does make you question whether they're as sick as you think they are," she said.

"It doesn't seem like much but when does it stop? Once you start increasing costs it never stops."

Gladstone Central Committee of the Ageing president Edgar Allen said any impost on the senior community was an absolute disaster.

"The seniors of today enjoyed free health care," he said. Where did we go wrong?"

He said the situation was policy on the run.

"The federal government hasn't thought about the consequences of that."

BUDGET PAIN

Patients' costs increase through:

  • co-payments for GP services;
  • co-payments for emergency departments;
  • higher co-payments for medicines;
  • cuts to Medicare rebates; and
  • frozen rebates for specialist services.

- AMA

Topics:  ageing population, federal budget 2014, gladstone gp superclinic, health




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

BREAKING: CEO resigns, Airport to pay $1.7M to council

Airport corp approves $1.7M payment to council

Green hair puts national attention on Gladstone school rules

Janine Brooks wants Gladstone State High School staff to be consistent and not single out her daughter Brooke Dawes, 13. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Green hair girl could make national headlines

Curtis Island millionaire scaffolder saves 'troubled teens'

A HELPING HAND: James Roach knows what it's like to be alone, on the wrong side of the law and without a hope of success.

JAMES Roach has been arrested more times than he can remember.

Latest deals and offers

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Gladstone's 10 cheapest houses for sale

ALL of the houses are selling for well under $200,000.