How does the Medicare rebate freeze affect you?

Labor promises to end freeze within 50 days if it is elected.

How does the Medicare rebate freeze affect you?

What is the Medicare rebate freeze and what does it mean for you?

Helen Dickinson, UNSW

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said he would end the Medicare freeze in his first 50 days as prime minister if Labor won the election.

"Every day Morrison’s Medicare freeze stays in place is another day that families are paying higher out-of-pocket costs to visit the doctor. If I’m elected prime minister, I won’t waste any time stopping Morrison’s cuts to Medicare," he said.

Health issues always feature strongly in election debates, but what is the Medicare rebate freeze and how does it affect what you pay when you see a GP?

How Medicare works

Medicare is our public health insurance system and funds a range of services such as GP visits, blood tests, X-rays and consultations with other medical specialists.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) lists the services the Australian Government will provide a Medicare rebate for. Medicare rebates don’t cover the full cost of medical services and are typically paid as a percentage of the Medicare schedule fee.


Read more: Explainer: what is Medicare and how does it work?


GPs who bulk bill agree to charge the Medicare schedule fee and are directly reimbursed by government.

Those who don’t bulk bill are free to set their own prices for services. Patients pay for their treatment and receive a rebate from Medicare.

There is often a gap between what patients pay for services and the amount that Medicare reimburses ($37 for a GP consultation, for example). This gap is known as an out-of-pocket expense, as the patient is required to make up the difference out of his or her own pocket.

Under an indexing process, the Medicare Benefits Schedule fees are raised according to the Department of Finance’s Wage Cost Index, a combination of indices relating to wage levels and the Consumer Price Index.

Organisations such as the Australian Medical Association (AMA) have long argued this process is inadequate and Medicare schedule fees have not kept up with “real” increases in costs to medical practitioners of delivering services.

The rebate freeze compounds this financial challenge by continuing to keep prices at what the AMA and others argue are “unsustainable levels”.

How did the freeze begin?

Although the Coalition is largely associated with this issue, Labor first introduced the Medicare rebate freeze. The freeze was introduced as a “temporary” measure in 2013, as part of a $664 million budget savings plan.

The AMA, the Coalition and others loudly criticised the then Government for the freeze.

However, on being elected to office in 2014, the Coalition froze the rebate after the failure of a number of proposed health policies. The rebate was frozen initially for four years, starting in July 2014, and extended in the 2016 federal budget to 2020.


Read more: Rebate freeze will set GPs back $11 per general patient consultation, but they’re likely to charge them more


Although the freeze was to be in place across the board until 2020, since 2017 there has been a phased lifting of the freeze for GP bulk-billing incentive payments (July 2017), standard GP consultations and other specialist consultations (July 2018), medical procedures (due July 2019) and targeted diagnostic imaging services (from July 2020).

What impact has the freeze had?

The freeze means those medical professionals who have not seen it lifted are reimbursed the same for delivering health services today as they were in 2014.

Professionals are paying more for their practices, staff, medical products, utilities and just about anything else that goes into running a medical service. But the amount paid remains static.

Those who have had indexing return to their services have seen only a limited rise in their value – $0.55 for a GP consultation, for example.

In the run-up to the 2016 federal election, Labor made a similar promise and told voters they needed to “save Medicare” from the Government’s plans to privatise the system.

This tactic was dubbed the “Mediscare” campaign. Some saw it as being highly effective in driving a swing towards Labor in the last election.


Read more: Labor's 'Mediscare' campaign capitalised on Coalition history of hostility towards Medicare


Last month the shadow health minister, Catherine King, blamed the Coalition for the freeze and argued this had driven up out-of-pocket costs for both GP and specialist visits, leading to more than 1 million people delaying or avoiding medical care.

There are a number of reports of GP practices and specialist services halting bulk-billing and patients having to pay higher out-of-pocket costs.

Yet the data on bulk-billing show bulk-billing rates have not fallen. In fact, the latest data show bulk-billing at an all-time high at 86.1 per cent.


Read more: FactCheck: are bulk-billing rates falling, or at record levels?


Some commentators argue these figures are misleading as they are calculated on services and not patients and so may be an indication of the increasing number of health services that use the MBS.

GP groups have welcomed the lifting of the Medicare freeze, but argue the indexation rates still fail to reflect the genuine value of general practice.

For those in areas such as diagnostic testing, the freeze is argued to have a profound impact. The Australian Sonographers Association argues that for ultrasound alone the average out-of-pocket cost for patients has increased by 117 per cent.

Many experts argue that just giving a little more funding to GP services will not improve the quality of the Australian healthcare system and far more fundamental issues need attention if we are to see significant reform.The Conversation

Helen Dickinson, Professor, Public Service Research, UNSW

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Has the Medicare rebate freeze placed an added burden on your healthcare costs? Do you make sure you go only to bulk-billing doctors?

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    COMMENTS

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    16th Apr 2019
    11:01am
    Yet another reason to boot the woeful Lieberal-Nazional Peabrains out of government.

    Good on you, Bill Shorten!
    Paddington
    16th Apr 2019
    11:49am
    Medicare is sacred and not safe in the hands of the LNP.
    Wealthy people are not affected so not a priority of the LNP.
    Q and A last night saw LNP senator behave very badly shouting over the moderator. The other appalling behaviour came from the PH guy. The audience even booed which I have never heard before. Wonder how many people changed their vote last night especially the young liberal who received no joy with his question.
    There are many reasons not to vote LNP and the environment is at the top of the list especially with the young voters.
    Old Geezer
    16th Apr 2019
    12:24pm
    Certainly not safe with Labor as doctors just have another reason to raise their fees.
    Old Geezer
    16th Apr 2019
    12:25pm
    Only Labor voters would watch that show anyway.
    Sundays
    16th Apr 2019
    12:35pm
    I saw the Program Paddington. The Liberal Guy was a bully. The environment, health and help for people with disabilities are the big issues in this election. While the Liberals grandstand and make wild claims about Tradies losing their Utes, they just look silly. They need more than tax cuts for the rich to win votes
    Jim
    16th Apr 2019
    3:27pm
    Reporting on Q&A’s program last night and saying the 1 nation guy was shouting over the others and the LNP guy was a bully, I must have watched a different program, the one I watched was of an outrageous bias towards the Labor and Greens reps, they continually interrupted the other two and the moderator for the most part ignored their continual interruptions, she continually shouted the two men down while allowing the Greens rep to make accusations against the LNP rep, I don’t know the make up of the audience, but my feeling was that the audience was fairly evenly balanced, clapping for both sides at various responses, I have often heard that there is an ABC bias towards Labor but I have never believed that to be the case and nothing I saw last night has changed my mind, but I do have to question if there was a gender issue? The moderator also told the LNP that he was not allowed to use a prop when he tried to show the Labor manifesto pamphlet, but strangely allowed the Greens senator to wear her stop Adani earrings which are also a prop that she has been using in the senate, which is also against the rules of the senate, but it seems some don’t have to abide by the rules, the earrings were being worn over her normal earrings, which suggests that she puts them on whenever she is using them as a prop. I would never vote for the Greens or one nation and on last nights performance I would be hard pushed to vote for either of the other 2 although I think the Labor rep was more composed.
    Paddington
    16th Apr 2019
    3:55pm
    Jim, totally incorrect! I have never seen the audience react like they did to the LNP Senator, they booed him. People expected that behaviour from one nation but they were blown away at how badly the LNP Senator acted. He shouted over Virginia and she had to ask him continually to stop which he did not. The two women were no where near as bad as the men. The prop was held up and shouted about. Greens wore earrings which were visible but she did not shove it at the audience. When she did talk to the senator she did not yell or continue when Virginia pulled them up. The women were controllable and the blokes were not. A big difference! I can only imagine what was said to LNP guy today by his party to whom he did a misservice. Many LNP reps have been on but never behaved like this.
    Jim
    16th Apr 2019
    4:31pm
    Sorry Paddington, I didn’t realise that my opinion was incorrect, yes they did boo once, the first half of the show was completely one sided with the Greens and Labor reps continually interrupting the other two and while I would agree that the LNP guy overreacted to the obvious bias of the moderator towards the two females on the panel, so it’s little wonder one of the guys lost it a bit definitely his bad, as for the prop being used I am not sure how you can create a difference when one prop is allowed to be on permanent display and very visible and the other being held up for an instant. I won’t say your opinion is incorrect but it does differ from mine, but nevertheless I respect your right to express your opinion and how you related it to the program.
    musicveg
    16th Apr 2019
    4:45pm
    I watched Q&A, the LNP guy was behaving badly, I was surprised even the PH guy was better behaved. The calmness of the Labor and Greens goes to show you they are not is a panic as much as the other two. There was no biased by the moderator at all, they all had a chance to speak but the LNP guy just continued to extend his speaking,yelling over others and attacking others. But do we vote because of behavior or policies? A bit of both I reckon.
    Paddington
    16th Apr 2019
    9:43pm
    Jim, thank you for being respectful.
    It is not my opinion it is what happened and what 90% of people would testify.
    Virginia was thoroughly professional and she had no bias but it was difficult for her to rein in the shouting, belligerent guy on her right. The one on the left was not as bad but pretty offensive. The facial expressions of the audience members helped tell the story.
    Comments elsewhere do not support your view of the night either. Remove the politics and you have an entitled, overbearing guy.
    maxchugg
    17th Apr 2019
    9:23pm
    "Goog on you, Bill Shorten!!!"


    Maybe it would have been a good idea to read the section in the comments headed "How did the freeze begin".


    As for Q&A, which, like the ABC, is a radical, left wing who takes any notice of that publicly funded anti government left wing program? As a taxpayer am seriously offended at seeing my taxes being to fund a political party which I currently dislike and by the ABC being to violate with impunity its obligation to remain neutral.
    maxchugg
    17th Apr 2019
    9:23pm
    "Goog on you, Bill Shorten!!!"


    Maybe it would have been a good idea to read the section in the comments headed "How did the freeze begin".


    As for Q&A, which, like the ABC, is a radical, left wing who takes any notice of that publicly funded anti government left wing program? As a taxpayer am seriously offended at seeing my taxes being to fund a political party which I currently dislike and by the ABC being to violate with impunity its obligation to remain neutral.
    Old Geezer
    16th Apr 2019
    12:23pm
    Another excuse for doctors to put up their fees.
    maxchugg
    18th Apr 2019
    7:24pm
    Old Geezer, doctors don't need an excuse to put up their fees, I'm sure they are free to charge whatever they like. My experience with GPs tells me that they, in the main, have been reasonable with their fees, especially in areas such as where I live where finding a GP can be extremely difficult because many are so busy they have closed their books to newcomers.


    I think it's a bit rich for Bill Shorten having a lot to say on this subject when it was Labor which instigated the freeze in the first place


    Where politicians are concerned, I am a born cynic, and this goes for all parties. But it seems to me that some contributors to this site have no understanding of economics. As all the money which governments spends comes from taxpayers, increased funding in one area must be offset by savings in another area or else taxes must be raised.


    The current government is being somewhat crafty in leading us to believe that they will have a budget surplus this year when the surplus won't come until next year if they get re-elected - if they don't win the election, forget the budget surplus.
    maxchugg
    18th Apr 2019
    7:24pm
    Old Geezer, doctors don't need an excuse to put up their fees, I'm sure they are free to charge whatever they like. My experience with GPs tells me that they, in the main, have been reasonable with their fees, especially in areas such as where I live where finding a GP can be extremely difficult because many are so busy they have closed their books to newcomers.


    I think it's a bit rich for Bill Shorten having a lot to say on this subject when it was Labor which instigated the freeze in the first place


    Where politicians are concerned, I am a born cynic, and this goes for all parties. But it seems to me that some contributors to this site have no understanding of economics. As all the money which governments spends comes from taxpayers, increased funding in one area must be offset by savings in another area or else taxes must be raised.


    The current government is being somewhat crafty in leading us to believe that they will have a budget surplus this year when the surplus won't come until next year if they get re-elected - if they don't win the election, forget the budget surplus.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    1:15pm
    This is the next clarification which a crooked government running its class war cannot escape.
    The government trolls may denounce the facts but that is what they do everywhere with their partners in crime the mainstream media who are a part of the cartel.
    I hope people tune out to the lies being pushed by the government in its current campaign of lies. This lot need to go in a big way to get democracy restored in this country.
    I can just hear the responses from the paid trolls.......
    Not a Bludger
    16th Apr 2019
    1:24pm
    Just another confected issue from the Bill that we cannot afford.
    In fact, bulk billing rates have risen significantly to the highest level ever.
    Who does the bulk billing? - why, doctors - hardly a sign of discontent.
    Note also re the very leftie AMA - only around one third of doctors are members which is also the leftie end of the cohort (& incidentally, don’t forget their wives).
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    1:34pm
    Why does it not surprise me that you use the lying slogans from the LNP propaganda machine?
    What the country cannot afford is another term of rich man's government working to enrich the wealthy even further whilst turning working Australians into defacto slaves.
    Not a Bludger
    16th Apr 2019
    2:19pm
    Because it encapsulates the facts, Mick.
    And, by the by are you on the waccy baccy Mick - slaves in australia?
    The average CFMMEU member is on $100k to $200kpa - geez, some definition.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    3:55pm
    Facts? Is that what you call the malicious lying campaign being run by the government and the right wing media? The truth is not in them!
    CFMEU? How about you examine the sums of money which the wealthy extract from the economy and what a political donation buys you. The coal cartel have been rewarded to the tune of billions of dollars as they seek to destroy our country at a time when the REST of the western world is acting. Do you not know this? Its public knowledge.

    Slavery? Of course. Perhaps not with leg irons on but being financially enslaved nevertheless and the results are only marginally different. Perhaps get on a plane and visit the Land of the (NOT) Free. This is what awaits working Australians if they do not spit this government out.

    As usual you run the government propaganda, signalling you are either a wealthy person or you are an ex LNP MP repaying your over generous pension. You certainly are not the real McCoy. That's clear.
    Not a Bludger
    16th Apr 2019
    4:33pm
    Is it stronger than the wacky baccy, Mick?
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    4:46pm
    The average CFFMMEU member works from daylight to dusk and sometimes seven days a week in all conditions, and with extras for hazard and such... I'd expect $100k a year ... easily!

    Now enough of the personal slurs, boys... we're all adults here now that Lothario has left us for greener pastures...
    musicveg
    16th Apr 2019
    4:48pm
    Really has Lothario left or done a name change again? How do you know this Trebor?
    Not a Bludger
    16th Apr 2019
    5:18pm
    Really Trebor - as a retired CFMEU member I am still rolling around with uncontrollable laughter - and they are currently going on 10 days straight off - all before any annual leave and more RDO’s to come.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    5:34pm
    What the government sponsored trolls do is to demonise their hated enemy rather than highlight where the REAL corruption and betrayal of the nation occurs: between the government and its donors for whom they willingly sell out the country,

    TREBOR: I have no real love for one 2 unions and some of the behaviour from them is indeed deplorable and needs to be stopped, but the government trolls beating the CFMEU drum are just trolls doing their job. The union is not all bad but it does need to redo its charter including a code of conduct. You'd never get this government to have a code of conduct though as it would require MPs to be something they do not have in them: honesty.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    7:05pm
    Hmm - his unique style seems to have vanished.... unless I'm just not reading everyone's blurbs... Lothario, olbaid (diablo backwards)... who fits the bill?
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    7:10pm
    NaB - so what exactly did you do as a member? $2000 a week for long hours and conditions and trade qualifications is not that much really...

    Something wrong with taking the holiday everyone else seems to be taking?

    Time for our very own Pearl Harbour, methinks... country will be asleep at the wheel and the door will be wide open... mind you the RAAF are training tonight overhead...
    Not a Bludger
    16th Apr 2019
    7:33pm
    No Trebor - I was just one of all of those poor sods who could not work on site without having to pay CFMEU membership and follow all their vicious instructions - no, sorry, I mean enforced orders by muscle.
    You just have never experienced the thuggery inherent in the world of union.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    8:17pm
    Rubbish Bludger. You're one of the team.
    I DID work on union sites as a contractor decades ago and they DID try and sign me up. I ignored them and turned up again next time. Was never coerced into joining as I do not need a union to do what I did.
    There may be some thugs but then the other end of town is more articulated but far far more lethal, dishonest and rips multiples of hundreds more than the CFMEU out of the economy. This is NEVER addressed. Both sides of politics knows about it but refuse to act. Lets start with offshore tax shelters. That is of course just the beginning.

    You need to stop the union bashing Bludger and recognise that without unions workers would be worse off than bottom of the heap Americans. We are getting there though with the pretend jobs Morrison keeps crowing about but which do not exist. Would love to see pollies paid for 3 hours a day!
    musicveg
    16th Apr 2019
    1:27pm
    We need free health care like other countries.
    Misty
    16th Apr 2019
    6:56pm
    I don't think the USA has free health care does it?, does anyone know who has lived there?.
    Paddington
    16th Apr 2019
    9:46pm
    Misty, friends tell me no and also they pay much more for private health cover and they are not guaranteed of how much to get back until afterwards. They can get a big surprise with 80% not covered. Many employees get it through their work though.
    Not much fun being poor in Trump’s America!
    musicveg
    16th Apr 2019
    9:59pm
    I was not counting all countries, I should have quote "some" countries. The Government has been trying to take us down the USA path for ages.

    16th Apr 2019
    1:41pm
    Bill is lying again by calling the freeze "Morrison's Freeze". The freeze was introduced by Labor in its last budget and has not been changed since then.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    3:57pm
    Its all Labor's fault????
    You are so far up the LNP perversion you cannot even read the story OM. Labor may well have brought the policy in as a 2 year fix but it is your employer who has made it A PERMANENT FIXTURE.
    As with Bludger above you are trolling for this government. The closer we get the more adamant you are becoming. A pity the truth is rarely in you. Sad.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    4:48pm
    The freeze was brought in by Fat Joe and Dar Kormannator, OG - it was a move to do with the 'budget emergency' as defined by the Commission of Idiots lapping up the cream and swallowing the BS and rubber stamping the government's preordained ideas.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    4:59pm
    "Labor introduced the Medicare indexation freeze in 2013; the Liberal National Government ended it in the 2017 Budget. ... Under a new national hospitals agreement, the Government has committed an extra $30 billion in public hospital funding from 2020-21 to 2024-25, taking overall funding during this period to $130 billion."

    INDEXATION freeze is not the same as the pure freeze.... but hmmmmmm. Honestly, this is the first I've heard of Labor having anything to do with this... it was always a Fat Joe/Kormannator thing... and I've been online every day pretty much on a politics forum.

    Source though:-0 https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2019/03/25/shorten-caught-fibbing-medicare-freeze-must-explain-why-he-stopped-listing

    "Although the Coalition is largely associated with this issue, Labor first introduced the Medicare rebate freeze in 2013 as a "temporary" measure, as part of a $664 million budget savings plan."

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-30/medicare-rebate-freeze-what-you-need-to-know/7458796

    Temporary measure that has now lasted six years.... hmmmmm .... who bears the responsibility for that? How long was Labor planning to keep it in place?

    Government of Two Parties Tag Team - neither one ever takes away a bad shot by the other, as long as it costs the peasants something over and above their already paid taxes. Both play the same game.....Domination!
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2019
    5:17pm
    MICK, I'll ignore your personal abuse which is, as usual, totally uncalled for and an attempt to dodge the truth. Please reread my post which is quite short, straight to the point and is absolutely truthful. Then reread your diatribe and see if any of it actually applies to what I posted.

    TREBOR, thank you for doing a bit of research which not only backs up my simple statement but makes MICK look like a complete goose. As I have said here on many occasions, I will always point out blatant lying regardless of who is telling the lies.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    5:37pm
    I believe my comments are fair OM. If you take my comments as personal attacks then be aware you bring these on yourself with your intentional deceit and the twisting of the facts. I have noticed over the years that the closer we get to voting the more far right wing you become. I believe I have correctly labelled you for what you are. I'll happily apologise if I am wrong as I have integrity!
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    7:13pm
    I honestly never heard one word about a Labor freeze.. maybe I was too tied up lambasting the rise to 67 for pensioners..... can't be on top of everything, can I? That's why we all need flunkies...
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    8:18pm
    OM appears to be on a re-election campaign. Using the same lies coming from his leader. Pitiful. Has my utmost contempt.
    KB
    16th Apr 2019
    3:03pm
    If you see a specialist then hopefully will get more back from Medicare
    Jim
    16th Apr 2019
    3:42pm
    Hope you are right, but I doubt it, I had two heart attacks 2 years ago, my first visit to the specialist after I got out of hospital was two weeks later, I seen him on the Monday which cost me $230 out of pocket I was in his room for less than 10 minutes, he arranged for me to have a stress test the following day, which cost me $256 out of pocket so I don’t know how much the total including the benefit from Medicare would have been, the stress test was performed by a technician with the specialist popping in for less than 5 minutes. I am grateful for the treatment I received but still consider the almost $500 out of pocket is a bit steep, so I don’t think they are too badly paid.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    5:00pm
    Some specialists are more equal than others....
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    5:00pm
    To them $256 is ten minute's work - why can't you find it in an instant????
    Jim
    16th Apr 2019
    5:14pm
    How true Trebor
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    5:40pm
    And some do not try it on by sending you to their private hospital. I've had experience of the difference between greedy specialists and those who are fair and do not seek to asset strip those who come to see them. These people still make a good living but do not have yachts, multiple holiday homes and Ferraris.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    6:59pm
    One of my free specialists is also a prof at ANU. He doesn't need of look for money.
    KB
    16th Apr 2019
    3:03pm
    If you see a specialist then hopefully will get more back from Medicare
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    5:40pm
    I think that's what Shorten was trying to get across. The government has tried its best to contaminate and destroy the message.
    Paddington
    17th Apr 2019
    12:46pm
    The only ones knocking it are trying to erode the LNP vote or the Greens vote with the environment denial. People will vote for the environment as 29% now support that as top concern. LNP will suffer with the environment concern and also with Labor’s cancer iniative. Health was down the list though so environment remains the big one.
    Paddington
    17th Apr 2019
    10:24pm
    Correction, only ones knocking it are the ones trying to erode Labor’s vote
    MITZY
    16th Apr 2019
    4:27pm
    JIM - the Q&A audience numbers doesn't vary very much from week to week. The Coalition usually has about 2-3% more participants than Labor and the "others" are usually split between Greens and Swingers. I didn't see the show last night but it is repeated late tonight so I will record it and watch it at a more convenient time. Re Medicare we used to receive about 85% of the cost of visiting the GP years ago but with the two sides of government freezing it for quite a few years it will take a decade to adjust and get back to how it used to be. My doctor charges me $66 at present (his fee goes up on 1st January every year. I don't have the "choices" living in a country town like the metropolitan domiciled people have. So $66 less $37.60 rebate = $28.40 out of pocket expenses for me. If I am referred to a specialist for anything it is an even greater out of pocket as specialists charge like wounded bulls. If my doctor performs a simple skin lesion incision my out of pocket is usually about three times the cost of the procedure. It wouldn't matter what any of these so-called "leaders" of the country promise - most of the promises will disappear like a puff of smoke.
    Jim
    16th Apr 2019
    4:41pm
    Yes I guess living remote from major centres has another set of problems, we are fortunate where we live most of the doctors bulk bill, and we use the local medical centre which bulk bills for most of the available services, except for specialists, dental and physio’s even one or two of the specialists my wife and I go to bulk bill if we are referred to from the medical centre, so for us not too bad.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    5:43pm
    I only watched a few minutes and turned it off when the LNP mouthpiece destroyed the debate by continually cutting off anybody who was not speaking the government propaganda and lies. Even the presenter could not control this idiot and I'd have to ask if he was put there to ruin the debate and run the deceitful rhetoric we have all been hearing for the past few weeks.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    7:01pm
    Don't forget to claim IPTAAS for any long specialist trips... after the next move I'm working on adding that to my repertoire - help people computer illiterate to navigate that system...
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    4:42pm
    No benefit - the doctor's union will simply raise the prices again... they need no justification.... unlike the workers unions which must go cap in hand, forelock touched, to the Fair Work Commission...

    Doctors are a better class, you know....
    musicveg
    16th Apr 2019
    4:47pm
    Not all doctors are the same, but I still stay away from them, they do not even study nutrition which the lack of is a cause for many diseases. They over test and often tests are not accurate.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    5:04pm
    Six years of increasing chest pain and dismissals of 'it's just physical' and my current GP finally hit on it - inflamed and thickened pleura and costa-chondral joint in ribs... hurts like hell and terribly incapacitating for someone who spent a physically active life. Still no answer on what caused it.... and I'd like to stop the cough... was it the cowskin mold in my bagpipes when the valve broke and they blew back? Curses.... have to go artificial bag....
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    5:44pm
    You may be right TREBOR but consider with more money some will be able to continue Bulk Billing and maybe more will do so. That leaves the greed brigade out on a limb.
    TREBOR
    16th Apr 2019
    7:02pm
    If only, Mick - I fear they will just raise their prices, as OG says... we agree sometimes.
    MICK
    16th Apr 2019
    8:19pm
    You may be right OG but we'll see.
    Paddington
    16th Apr 2019
    9:51pm
    musicveg, my blood tests check for most of the vitamins and minerals which can then be topped up.
    Sometimes, it is difficult to diagnose like our daughter who took six months to get an answer. I think you have to keep going back until the cause is found and treated.
    Not all doctors are so evil that they will raise prices. I know some decent ones.
    Just shop around as there are plenty to choose from unless you are in the bush.
    musicveg
    16th Apr 2019
    10:04pm
    So how is your daughter going since we communicated last on YLC's?
    Paddington
    17th Apr 2019
    12:17am
    Thank you for asking musicveg. She has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism but the specialist said her symptoms outweigh the diagnosis. He has ordered an array of blood tests one of which cost $50 and the results take a long time to complete so end of the month before she can start appropriate medication. She has some meds to help her get by until then. It is hard because she works for herself and has always been very active and independent and never been sick since childhood. You just never know what life can spring on you.
    musicveg
    17th Apr 2019
    12:32am
    Paddington did you look up those books by Anthony William that I mentioned last time?
    I hope she gets better soon, I did get diagnosed with nodules on my thyroid about 6 years ago but got better through diet. I highly recommend taking a good probiotic supplement when taking medication too because a lot of your good bacteria can be destroyed and you need this to absorb nutrients.
    Paddington
    17th Apr 2019
    1:09pm
    No, sorry, I have not read his books musicveg. She does take supplements as she is gluten and dairy free.
    I tried to private message you but they are not allowing this any more probably because some on here are nasty but I would never use it like that.
    musicveg
    17th Apr 2019
    1:24pm
    Yes it would be easier to communicate Paddington, but I can understand why YLC's does not allow it. Borrow the books from the library, or look him up on the internet there is a lot of free information on his website. He recommends drinking celery juice on an empty stomach to promote healing. Also lemon juice. A good start is the gluten and dairy free, but also caffeine, I was a big coffee drinker before being diagnosed with the nodules and gave up all caffeine including chocolate, it effects your adrenaline glands which effect everything else.
    Paddington
    17th Apr 2019
    5:18pm
    musicveg, she has no choice but to be gluten and dairy free. She can’t have lemon juice. She does not have caffeine either.
    Someone was probably abused on the private message which is prevalent on here too.
    Shame because it was a way to support and ask a question privately.
    If you did not get their email then contact has been lost.
    Crazy Horse
    16th Apr 2019
    11:08pm
    Labor created Medicare and has defended and expanded it in the face of determined and repeated attempts by the Liberals to water down and destroy it.

    Only Labor can be trusted with your health. The quality of your health care should be determined by your Medicare card not your credit card.
    Dermot
    17th Apr 2019
    12:58am
    Are Jim and Old Geezer off their medication ?????
    Rae
    17th Apr 2019
    8:59am
    If they aren't aged pension recipients they probably can't afford the medication.

    It's hugely expensive if you pay full costs for it.
    JoJozep
    23rd Apr 2019
    12:35pm
    OG-

    Truth hurts, doesn't it! where is your comment about LNP bullies, or does that only work when it matches your limited views? I'm sick of your fake news and outright lies. Since when have doctors not been entitled to a wage rise? Let's hope you don't need a doctor soon.
    Dermot
    1st May 2019
    10:47pm
    Who could honestly vote for Scummo ???