You could have to pay $6 dollars for a bulk-billed GP appointment in Australia after the Abbott Government hands down its budget in May.
According to The Australian, the co-payment fee has been approved by the Government’s expenditure review committee and is expected to save $750 million over four years, which will be put back into health.
The payment will be capped at 12 visits, so $72 is the maximum extra amount patients would have to spend.
Medicare costs have soared over the past decade, from $8.1 billion to $17.8 billion. The average number of annual visits has also increased from 4.3 per person in 2003-04 to 5.6 between April 2012 and March last year.
While the co-payment fee is expected to go ahead, a decision is yet to be made on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott supported it in Opposition, but it is also expensive. According to The Australian, it is expected to cost $22.2 billion in 2019-20, its first year of full operation.
There’s more here.
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