This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Be Alert And Alarmed! - The Federal Government Is Testing The Response To Healthcare Funding Cuts.
As often happens in the period before any hard federal budget leaks on the planned nasties come out early. In this case, with the Commission of Audit off and running, we are getting even earlier warning.
ENDING free visits to the doctor is a long overdue reform to reduce unnecessary appointments and ease the growing burden of public health spending on taxpayers.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Commission of Audit is considering the value of a small $5 co-payment for bulk-billed GP visits to send a “price signal” to patients to avoid unwarranted visits to the doctor.
Supporters of the change say a co-payment of “less than (the price of) a Big Mac and fries” would ensure the sick can get an appointment with a doctor when they need to.
Some will argue that such a change would undermine the universality of Medicare, or even stop people going to the doctor when they need to.
But unfettered access to free doctor visits has encouraged many to visit their doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, and led some doctors to rort the system through over-service.
Amid warnings that the current system is driving GPs at big clinics to encourage patients to book multiple visits to resolve complaints while families with sick children struggle to find an appointment, Health Minister Peter Dutton says his priority is to make sure our “most sick” have access to GPs.
TONY Abbott is facing mounting calls to whack patients with a new $5 fee for GP visits, as doctors warn any move to introduce "co-payments" risks escalating pressure on the strained public health system.
The announcement of a $3.50 co-payment for people who were bulk-billed under Medicare in the August 1991 budget arguably cost prime minister Bob Hawke the Labor leadership.
Comment: All in all what we have here is a situation where the PCEHR and Medicare Locals have / are being reviewed and broader cuts are being floated.
So as the title of the blog says - Be Alert and Alarmed. Major cuts have to be coming and for sure the PCEHR and Medicare Locals will suffer some form of hit. The only question is how big and damaging the cuts will be and where else the axe will fall!