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No model could turn GP co-payments into good public policy

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 21 Aug 2014

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that there are no possible changes or alternative models can turn the GP co-payment into good public policy.

“No amount of tinkering or adjustments can save this dog of a policy,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Putting a price barrier between patients and their doctors is precisely the opposite of what we should be doing.

“I established a Senate Inquiry into out-of-pocket health costs before the budget was even handed down because it was already a big problem. We know that many people are choosing not to go to the doctor or fill their prescriptions because they can’t afford it.

“My inquiry into out-of-pocket health costs will be releasing its report tomorrow but you don’t need a Senate Committee to tell you that making it more expensive to see a GP, have a blood-test or get an x-ray will only make things worse. Making it harder for people to see their doctor isn’t just brutal and unfair, it’s plain dumb.

“Any sensible government would want people to see a GP before simple, treatable illnesses turn into serious conditions that require much more expensive treatment in hospital. This policy isn’t about cost-saving, it’s about cost-shifting to the states.

“I implore my Senate colleagues to join the Greens in sending this GP co-payments on a one-way ticket to the graveyard of bad ideas. It’s where most of the government’s brutal agenda belongs.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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