News

Medicare changes will lead to higher costs: GP

THE Federal Government's changes to the Medicare rebate have been labelled nonsense by Gladstone GP Dr John Bird.

The government will reduce the co-payment on GP services by $5 for patients who are not concession card holders, retirees, children under 16, veterans or aged-care residents.

The principal of the Gladstone GP Super Clinic said the cut to the rebate would lead to increased health costs for users.

"We are talking about 2% of healthcare costs. The co-payment applies to a small proportion of total healthcare costs," he said.

"Those costs are likely to contribute to increased costs that will be greater than the amount saved.

"Increased costs manifest themselves as increased specialist rebates, hospital costs, costs relating to later presentations, loss of time at work and early retirement due to ill health."

Dr Bird said the economics didn't make sense.

"Tony Abbott has targeted a relatively small number of services with the reduction in rebates but that particular sector currently cross-subsidises those who are bulk-billed," he said.

"Without that subsidy the whole of the bulk-billing system is placed in jeopardy."

He said he was concerned young doctors did not want to become GPs.

"Young doctors and medical students are opting not to do general practice rather choosing to specialise, which will lead to increased Medicare costs," he said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the change to the Medicare rebate schedule encouraged doctors to spend more time with patients.

"The government has addressed the issue of 'six-minute medicine' by encouraging doctors to spend time with patients and providing quality health services," he said.

Topics:  editors picks, gladstone gp superclinic, gp, john bird, medicare, politics




Stay Connected

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

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.

BOM: Gladstone hit with 2016's coldest day

WE have never had a day this cold in May before.

WATCH: Divers discover Spirit of 1770 underwater wreck

"All of a sudden this big thing appeared in front of them"

Latest deals and offers

Amazing maneuver

Cory Jeacocke pulls off an amazing maneuver at 3000 ft.

Calvin Swart in the battle rounds

Calvin Swart has made it into Team Jessie on The Voice.

Calvin Swart took on Jack Pellow in last night's episode of The Voice during the...

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.