Medicare freeze could mean unfilled scripts


hand out for money - coins in palm

Some consumers may decide not to fill scripts as a result of the Medicare freeze, AMA Vice President Tony Bartone says.

Speaking at a media doorstop today, Dr Bartone said the AMA was suggesting GPs charge $78 for a standard consultation, on which they would continue to receive $37.05.

The AMA is calling for the immediate reinstitution of indexation of MBS fees, which have been frozen since 2012.

When asked whether patients would put off visiting the GP due to cost, Dr Bartone said:

“There is no doubt that some patients will need to look at their ability to attend, or implement the medical plan that their doctor puts in place.

“Some patients will obviously make a call on whether they pick up that prescription,” he said.

“Some patients will obviously make a call, ‘do I go today or do I wait and see if my condition gets better’, but this is not acceptable in this current age.

“We have one of the best health care systems in the world, and having patients delay, or delay access to, or implementing their medical care is putting that quality status at risk.”

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