Labor says vaccination compromise shows flaw in co-payment

LABOR has leapt on the suggestion child vaccinations could be exempt from the proposed $7 co-payment for GP visits as an admission the tax was flawed.

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton has not confirmed the exemption is likely as he continues negotiations with cross-benchers to get the co-payment, a significant part of the Coalition's budget savings measures, through the Senate.

Under the compromise children would still be vaccinated without charge when attending a bulk-billing doctor, News Ltd reported.

Other possible exemptions related to older Australians in aged-care facilities and reduced fees for pensioners, it reported.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Catherine King said reports the government was planning to water down its "bad GP tax" was an "admission that there will be parents who will avoid going to the doctor to get their children vaccinated" because of the tax.

"If it is bad policy for parents trying to get their kids vaccinated it is bad policy for everybody and the GP tax should be scrapped," she said.

"It is bad for patients, it is bad for doctors and it is bad in the longer term for our health system as a whole."

Queensland LNP Senator Ian McDonald told ABC's breakfast show that the co-payment was "dangerous" and it should be reconsidered.

The speculation came as The United Services Union held a rally in Western Sydney against the $7 payment. - APN Newsdesk



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