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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Australian Medical Association (WA) has said that the Federal Budget will make sick people suffer and force them to pay more for their health care to help address the deficit.
“Tonight’s decision to freeze indexation of the Medical Benefits Schedule will force bulk billing rates down, the very thing the Federal Government was crowing about yesterday,” AMA (WA) president Dr Richard Choong said.
“Just yesterday the Federal Health Minister was boasting that bulk billing rates had hit a record high of 82.4 per cent. Yet the only certainty about tonight’s decision by the Federal Government is that bulk billing rates will fall,” Dr Choong said.
“Once again the Government is expecting patients and doctors to take the full impact of their cuts and their inability to manage Australia’s budget.”
“This Budget, likely to be the Gillard Government’s last, is another example of an incompetent administration in its final weeks,” he said.
The decision to delay indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) from 1 November 2013 to 1 July 2014 will effectively rip $664.3 million out of primary health care services.
“The Government is forcing sick people to help fix this Budget black hole,” Dr Choong said.
“People will have to pay more for their health care every time they visit the doctor, and the sicker you are, the more you will pay.
“This will dissuade people from seeing their doctor as they struggle to meet higher costs,” he said.