News

Study finds GP co-payments would affect our most vulnerable

FAMILY BUDGET: Bella and Abby Vine walking with their mother Jess Vine who is concerned about the Federal Government's proposed GP co-payment and the impact on her family budget. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
FAMILY BUDGET: Bella and Abby Vine walking with their mother Jess Vine who is concerned about the Federal Government's proposed GP co-payment and the impact on her family budget. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN090714VNE2

FAMILIES, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases would be the hardest hit under the Federal Government's proposed GP co-payment, according to a new study.

The University of Sydney study published this week, based on national data captured in the year to March, suggested a young family - classified as one with two children aged under 16 with two parents aged between 25-44 years - would pay an extra $184 more per year on average to access medical care.

Bundaberg mother of two Jess Vine said finding those additional funds for her family could be difficult.

"With kindergarten fees, electricity prices and groceries going up it could be hard to find almost $200 extra per year," she said.

"It can get expensive, especially when you need to get a prescription as well.

"It could have a ripple effect. Will it impact the public health system?"

The government's proposed co-payment would mean patients paying an extra $7 for visiting a doctor, out-of-hospital pathology and diagnostic imaging services.

Patients with concession cards and children under 16 would pay the GP co-payment on the first 10 visits each year.

The study found a self-funded retired couple without Commonwealth concession cards could expect to pay an average of $244 more each year.

It also found Type 2 diabetes patients would pay an additional $120 or more annually while an aged pensioner couple with concession cards would pay an average $199 extra.

Bundaberg and District Senior Citizens Association treasurer Jean Vane said many people did not fully understand what they would be charged for.

"Most people I have talked to seem okay with paying the $7 per visit to the doctors," she said.

"I'm sure most people think that it is the only $7 fee but don't know about these other charges."

The report's co-author Dr Clare said the study findings backed concerns by medical and consumer groups that medical co-payments could deter vulnerable groups from seeking prompt medical care, and impair their ability to pay for services.

"It will particularly affect people who need to use more medical and related services, such as older people and those with chronic health conditions," Dr Clare said.

"The proposed co-payments regime is likely to deter the most vulnerable in the community from seeking care due to higher costs that they would face."

The GP co-payment faces stiff opposition in the senate from Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party.

Topics:  federal government, gp co-payment




Why the ex-HMAS Tobruk will never be a museum

The cargo ship HMAS Tobruk may be scuttled in the Great Sandy Strait in a few years.

Hinkler MP said the ex-HMAS Tobruk was not suitable to be a museum.

Million dollar upgrade for closed country club

NEW LOOK: The Gorza family is set to transform the former Alloway Country Club with a new name and stunning renovations. Photo Carolyn Archer / NewsMail

Alloway Country Club to be remodelled

Latest deals and offers

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa