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  1. 1

    Chris Akkers

    I would be greatly surprised if the cost of collecting $7 from every other patient (testing eligibility, collecting, making change, recording incidence on Commonwealth system, remitting funds, managing avoidance, providing Commonwealth supervision and accounting) is not rather greater than $7.

    Surely there are more efficient ways of reducing access to medical help.

  2. 2


    The people who designed the $7 GP co payment can’t so their sums. Or perhaps they place ideology at a higher premium than simple maths. As pointed out by Steven Duckett at this weeks’ CHFA conference, cutting fraud and waste from the health system, replacing fee for service with whole of service payments and getting a better price for pharmaceuticals and medical devices would save billions of tax payers dollars every year, not a mere 750 millions over 4 years. John Menadue has written about vested interests keeping ineffective funding structures in place, including the AMA, the Australian Pharmacy Guild, the private health insurance funds, Medicines Australia and the state health bureaucracies. He could add the ANF to that list. According to Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, Australia spends around 22% more on pharmaceuticals than the OCED average. Inefficient hospitals are costing up to 1 billion a year according to the Gratten institute. The list goes on.

    Currently there is no linking of hospitals funding to proof of decreased patient errors and increased quality of health services. This is despite death from hospital errors being 9 times the national road toll. There is no public display of hospital or individual doctors fees for their services. No Australian patient can shop around and get the best deal for their money. This is despite 1/3 of hospital beds being private, and Australians paying the third highest out of pocket costs in the world.

    The $7 GP co payment is not about cost savings. It’s about avoiding the hard yards of real health care reform. It’s not about keeping Medicare sustainable. It’s about covering up the failure of lazy, incompetent politicians and health bureaucrats.

  3. 3


    That is a surprise. The AMA
    [(how many of them “dress to the Right”/have gone on to professional conservative politics – or “just missed” like Bill Glasson). After a couple of doctors and a “lollygaggle(?)” of lawyers (Wooldridge, Howard, Nelson and their Coal-ition government) got together to under-write/guarantee doctors earnings – by making it harder/dearer for anyone without the readies to earn/afford a degree – resulting in the need for back-filling vacancies from overseas (Patel was one such)]
    are looking after their own interests?

  4. 4


    So good to see Abbott and Co engaging with a powerful Union…


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