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Co-payment gone, but $5 cut to MBS rebate means cost of seeing a GP will increase

Tuesday 9 December 2014

“The previous proposal discriminated against low socio-economic Australians, and that is why AMA Victoria lobbied against the co-payment,” Dr Tony Bartone, President of AMA Victoria, said in response to the Government’s latest announcement that will see the co-payment scrapped.

“In Australia, Medicare was established to ensure equality in healthcare access. The co-payment was at odds with this principle.

“While we are pleased to see the co-payment scrapped, the sting in the tail is that there will be a $5 cut to the MBS rebate for all non-concession card holders and those over 16.

“In addition, the rebate will be "frozen" until 2018. This freeze goes against economic principles. Staff wages and practice overhead costs will continue to increase. Patients will bear the brunt of this freeze and get less money back.

“A $5 reduction to the rebate means that your average non bulk-billed patient will pay $5 more to see a GP. If they get $37.05 back from Medicare now, they will only get $32.10 back.

“Neither this proposal or the former co-payment plan supports the sustainability of general practice,” Dr Bartone said.

Media contact: Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506 or

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