25th May 2016

Saving Medicare – Professor Brian Owler suggests how

FONT SIZE: A+ A-
Saving Medicare – Professor Brian Owler suggests how
Professor Brian Owler

Health policy is at the heart of the current Federal election campaign – and rightly so.

Health policy – the institutions, health professionals and services it affects – has an impact on every Australian, every day throughout their lives, either directly or indirectly.

The key health issues that traditionally influence voters the most are public hospital funding and primary health care, particularly general practice – your family doctor.

This is not to ignore aged care, mental health, private health insurance, prevention, end of life care, palliative care, or chronic disease. These all matter – a lot. But governments usually get held to account at election time about how they fund, or don’t fund, public hospitals and access to quality primary care.



We are yet to hear major policy announcements about public hospitals but the battle over primary care is on in earnest.

For many Australians, Medicare is the Australian health system. Going into this election campaign, the Government was armed with policies that take money out of Medicare, with the one causing the most fuss being the freeze on Medicare patient rebates until 2020.

Put simply, the freeze – which now stretches out for seven long years – means that the Medicare rebate, currently $37.05, will not increase before 2020.

This will have a huge impact on bulk billing, which is bad news for older patients, retirees, working families with several children, the chronically ill and the most vulnerable in the community.

The freeze does not just affect GP visits. It also hits medical specialists, pathology and diagnostic imaging.

So, every time you visit your GP, geriatrician, surgeon, cardiologist, oncologist or other specialist, you will pay more and the costs will increase year on year until 2020.

Every time you need a blood test or an x-ray, it will cost more.

For people with complex or chronic conditions and families with young children, these costs will add up.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has been campaigning tirelessly to convince the Government to change its policy, but so far there is no indication that it will lift the freeze. 

The Labor Party has announced that, if elected, it would lift the freeze from 1 January 2017. The AMA and many other health groups have publicly supported this pledge. 

If Medicare is to continue to offer universality of access to quality health care, the Medicare rebate freeze must be lifted.

But further than that, the next Government must invest significantly in general practice, which is the entry point to health care for most Australians at all stages of life.

GPs need greater support to offer the full range of services, which includes home visits and visits to residential aged care facilities.

Health policy affects us all. We need properly resourced hospitals, well-supported general practices and a strong medical workforce to keep the community well.

If our hospitals and GPs are looked after, then other vital services – such as aged care, mental health, allied health services, palliative care and medical specialists – will also benefit and be able to better serve patients – affordably.

It is important that we all tell our politicians and governments that health policy matters – a lot.

Read more at www.ama.com.au

Associate Professor Brian Owler was elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in May 2014. He is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead Private, Sydney Adventist Hospital at Wahroonga, and Norwest Private Hospital. A/Prof Owler has a PhD from the University of Sydney and spent 18 months performing research at the Academic Neurosurgery Unit at the University of Cambridge. He is Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Sydney.  A/Prof Owler has a particular interest in public health advocacy. He can be seen on billboards and on television as the face and voice of the ‘Don’t Rush’ advertising campaign targeted at reducing speed-related road accidents in NSW. 





COMMENTS

To make a comment, please register or login
maelcolium
26th May 2016
10:02am
You have to be mentally deficient to not understand that the Government are anti Medicare, Health, Aged Care, Education. Welfare and tax reform except where that reform delivers relief to large corporates and the top PAYG earners. On the other hand, the ALP have delivered policy relief proposals in many of the above areas. I can categorically state I will never, ever put the LNP anywhere on the slip but at the very bottom. How hard can it be?
Old Man
26th May 2016
3:52pm
The article is only about one subject maelcolium, it's about lifting the Medicare freeze. There is one paragraph that Professor Owler wrote that is relevant to your comment.

"Put simply, the freeze – which now stretches out for seven long years – means that the Medicare rebate, currently $37.05, will not increase before 2020."

This is 2016 and if you go back 7 years you are in the middle of 2009, the Labor years. The Liberal coalition came to power in 2014 so that means that Labor is the main cause of the freeze.
Rae
30th May 2016
7:38am
Old Man
It does not matter one bit which party is in power.

maelcolium is correct. The economy is a basket case and the promises to fund public services are no longer viable.

I think it a great pity that private health insurance premiums were not frozen at the same time. That would have been helpful rather than the 8% increase each year to cover rises in health costs.

Hypocrites the lot of them.
particolor
30th May 2016
8:44am
Whose that yonder dressed in Black ?
Must be the Hypocrites :-) :-) turning back !
holtg
26th May 2016
11:12am
Well, well. The real world seems to have escaped Professor Brian, maelcolium and his/her(Mx maybe) ilk.
There is no magic pudding with health. If you want the latest facilities, tech, drugs and the reward for people who have trained for years to give you that healthcare, guess what? It costs.
The screams when a co-payment is mentioned shows that a group of constant whingers want to stay on the government teat and never pay. There should health availabilities for disadvantaged and the aged. The rest should contribute so that health has a value. Good health care is not a right it is a privilege.
If you can intellectually bear it, follow NZ and put a real co-payment in place. GPs will be better off, hospital emergency depts will be less crowded and people will appreciate what they are getting because they have to pay for it.
Magic Pudding eaters beware. 'Taint forever, 'taint inexhaustible. In the end someone pays.It may well be your grandchildren.
Retired Knowall
26th May 2016
12:11pm
Horror of Horrors, How dare you bring facts and logic to this forum.
Luchar
26th May 2016
1:09pm
Couldn't agree more with the comments from "holtg". I never cease to be amazed at the outcry over the suggested small co-payments for an individual's health care, while those same whingers don't mind handing over $5 for their regular schooner, line up each week to spend money in the hope of winning Lotto, pay their regular Foxtel account, purchase their season pass for the football, head to the club for their two-for-one meals - and how much these days for a packet of cigarettes!
Oars
26th May 2016
2:13pm
HOLT g - i'm glad you have some idea of the massive costs of "health care for all." The problem is similar to Great Biotain in that all the non-tax wingers all wanted equal rights, although they were from other countries where free medicine was not available. Oz has become the focus of many of similar offshore newcomers who have contributed very little to the general fund purse- yet expect royal treatment. There is no simple solution. However, a screening of offshore arrivals may reduce our burden, and make the free welfare for those who have contributed here for at least 20 years. Otherwise, just keep winging and looking at the stars. Better still, go to NZ and wait in their hospital queas- for thre months- all free except the waiting may kill you. !!!
Anonymous
26th May 2016
5:50pm
Luchar, ah yes, the good life.
Kaz
27th May 2016
12:08pm
Did I read that right? Good health care is a privilege, not a right? I can't believe others are ok with that!
particolor
27th May 2016
3:18pm
Only a Right if your High Up on the Right !! :-)
buby
29th May 2016
11:02am
"If you can intellectually bear it, follow NZ and put a real co-payment in place. GPs will be better off, hospital emergency depts will be less crowded and people will appreciate what they are getting because they have to pay for it."
They have been saying this for donkey's year, but seems it doesn't work.
Again I say, I there are too many UNemployed, who is paying taxes!! NO flamin many?and so they are cutting cost, and of course the health sector is coping it! and it shouldn't be!
Those with higher wages don't like to lose more than they want too. Well the Poor want to eat!!! Do you not see the conundrum!!!!
Its the same when you are budgeting in your home.
and you wish to save for a holiday, and you don't have enough money to go round. So something has to suffer! Which will it be, this is the choices you have to make. WE in our bigger view of our country.
Why the Heck do we need 20 submarines, I do ASk. What B.S.
WE need our health system. WE can cut back on the submarines, and perhaps develop our Rail systems instead to cover more of Australia. But DUH me think they not got the brains to think about that one.
They are SO STuck in their offices trying to out do those that are not, and are trying to survive in this world. WHY can't they grow a brain. I"M old now. and I've paid me taxes. I have too much pain, still cause i also don't have any super!!! too much was lost, through crashes and taxes.......OH it really sucks. but don't worry i be dead soon, and won't be able to enjoy my retirement!! So i guess i don't need the health system any more do I???
Thats probably what those Donkey's UP top are thinking!!!!
4b2
26th May 2016
12:01pm
For many of our age group this is a major concern. This is the Coalitions Health Tax by default. It does not matter wether you wear a top hat or a hard hat both will pay more. Malcolm and his side show team seem to be attacking every thing the Labour Party has done since 1972.
The Health Insurance schemes should be not for profit organisations.
particolor
26th May 2016
12:10pm
God Save our Medicare ! :-)
For who will save the Prime Minister ? :-(
Oars
26th May 2016
2:15pm
That sounds like the Mad Witlam bleat- that he had three days to prepare by hius script writers. Mad and dangerous.
MICK
26th May 2016
3:59pm
Methinks that Whitlam (spell it right Oars) was the PM crucified by the non political governor General? Have I got that right?
particolor
26th May 2016
4:09pm
In Top Hat and Tails the mad man Wails !!
"Dismissal" Cus Mal said so ! :-) :-)
Kaz
27th May 2016
12:11pm
Whitlam was a smarter man than you could ever hope to be Witless, er, Oars
particolor
27th May 2016
3:02pm
And our PAYE TAX SHOT From 25% to 33% Almost Instantly :-( I never forgot it :-( :-( Good Ole LIBS !! GRRR !! :-(
particolor
27th May 2016
3:09pm
I lost anywhere between $100 and $120 a fortnight GRRRR !! :-) :-)
But it wasn't me that was damaged much, it was other Family's on Tight Budgets I knew ! Shame Frazer Shame !! :-(
Oars
28th May 2016
1:42pm
Kaz-you browbeaten labor-for ever thingyyou. The Mad Goff was too busy tripping toLondon and put Oz into Debt. Seems that's the Labor trick- but get out of the kitchen when the stove boils oiver. Witlam was real smart- he used you lot and had the gall to blame the constitution. Was he really a solicitor or did he duck for cover behind the "cannon foddrer" of the "werekers"but never took on the real world?. Real smart.!!!
buby
29th May 2016
11:04am
My dear Parti, God don't give too hoots, and probably our Prime Minister might have been worth a bob or two, if only his stupid party, could work better together. But Guess What, I won't be voting for them :)
ITS TIME , WE got rid of them. ITs time.
Hasbeen
26th May 2016
12:18pm
I am disgusted with many of my fellow pensioners.

It appears that all too many are happy to mortgage their kids future, with huge debts hanging around their necks. just to avoid paying a few bob co-payment, or forgoing a few handouts.

Then they have the hide to call the younger generation the greedy ones. Actually disgusted is too mild a term.
Oars
26th May 2016
2:20pm
Hasbeen you must be talking about the MASSIVE DEBT that Labor/Como Gillard/Rudd left us. The kids who are smart, live within their means these days, and get jobs to pay for their requirements. The lazy lot, (and their numbers are not diminishing) will have to smarten up and become part of the real world. They shgould get skilled or get trampled on by the rest of the global youth who see Oz as an easy takeover. Please educate your kids to become global smart not "yesteryear complacent".
MICK
26th May 2016
4:01pm
The normal political BS you post Oars. If you want debt then look at the current government: doubled the deficit and increased debt by $100 billion (+ 2 x NBNs) during its short term in government. That's debt! And not even during a GFC!
Kaz
27th May 2016
12:12pm
And want to address it by cutting company tax?
Kaz
27th May 2016
12:26pm
And how does having a high mortgage help you avoid a copayment? All it is is the beginning of the coalitions attack on Medicare because it was a labor initiative which is very successful.
Oars
27th May 2016
2:02pm
Mick- as another dyhard laborite, have you read your latest little red book. Those figures are the LABOr party's "secret" figures- slipped out to the media just before the election. They took awhile to print it 'cos their faithfull printer has gone bankrupt after spending up his
lolly" that Gillard gave him. See- you are not the only one that has a keen eye on facts.!!!!
particolor
27th May 2016
3:16pm
RUBBERY FIGURES ! :-) :-)
I just heard on the Radio that they have nearly Trebled Labors Debt !! :-) :-) A pat on the back is in order I think ! :-)
Huskie
26th May 2016
12:25pm
The best way to save Medicare is to nationalise all Medical services and make all medical providers employees of the Government so that they are paid a salary that is on a par with other workers. Take Doctors off the pedestal that the general public has put them on.
The AMA is a "trade union" with a very intense and powerful self-interest and operates the biggest "closed shop" system in the country.
particolor
26th May 2016
12:30pm
Hear HEAR !! :-)
Oars
26th May 2016
2:29pm
Part of your comment makes sense, in that these Quacks have a guarenteed income as soon as they leave their training- unlike most other professions. I am well aware of the differences in income between various University Graduates in OZ. The idea of a Government salary will turn Doctors into 9 to 5 workers with little interest in improving their education. They will turn out to be like many of the Government servants that try to bully us around. God help us if we get Government paid Doctors. Maybe they can be told to reduce the number of patients they see in one period- to stop the Aspro Quacks who operate from inner city "dens of mass confusion"
MICK
26th May 2016
5:49pm
Doctors, like most other industries, start at the bottom of a pay scale. They do not start with a big salary and they are abused with shifts that no normal person would do.
There are many professions where ongoing education leads to pay increases and staff have to jump through the hoops to qualify.
Your post is a bit unfair Oars. Check it out.
Huskie
26th May 2016
5:59pm
Oars you missed the comment that "The AMA is a "trade union" with a very intense and powerful self-interest and operates the biggest "closed shop" system in the country." I suggest that you research the Hypocratic Oath. It is meaningless in today's environment.
What I am saying is that;
Doctors decide who studies Medicine
Doctors decide who qualifies for a Medical Degree
Doctors decide who can practice Medicine
Doctors decide what they can practice
Doctors decide what additional qualifications they can obtain
Doctors decide whether they are competent or not

Total "closed shop"
MICK
26th May 2016
8:30pm
The Poms from all accounts hire doctors on a salary and doctors do not make the zillions they do in some other countries....but still have a good existence. That may be what we need in Oz. Having said that doctors do not exactly live at Point Piper so not sure they are earning too much more than a good income.
Kaz
27th May 2016
12:21pm
OMG! I would love to see you clueless lot get the grades required for entry to uni, spend years at university, work the hours an intern works, see the horrible suffering of others every day, be responsible for life and death operations and not expect a higher salary at the end of it!
Hopefully one of them saves you from a dementia/ Alzheimers end of life.
Oars
27th May 2016
2:12pm
Mick- Here you go again spurting off without any idea of facts. Please research your subject and tell us all your source. Try starting at the Bureau of Statistics first. You will find that the legal profession make up big percentage gaining BIG BUCKS in their first 10 years, then the Doctors, then Accountants, then Architects, then Engineers, oops I forgot the "backdoor" Tafe diploma types in all of those building industries. They can scratch big bucks early, as they start at year 11 and don't have to go to - nor could probably have the brains to pass- the full Uni degrees. But anyway- you get what you pay for- and that's why Oz has floundered along with poor infrastructure, and the few real brains that stay here are squashed by the morons that "lead" this place. They include a sad lot of politicians from Federal, State and down to the local councils.
buby
29th May 2016
11:16am
Dear Dear Kaz, do you really think thats its only the doctors that work weird hours, obviously you have never been in other professions. Many ppl work can work very strange hours, and work harder than the medical profession, Just obviously you don't know much about it!!!
and LET me tell you the Dr's they are whipping out in this day and age.
They really think some of us oldies are real dopy, and wouldn't know what from squat.
I reckon i could get a back door dip, NO problem. Its seems I know almost as much as my doctor!!!
And lucky i can get info, which my doctor hasn't, and lucky enough to have saved my own bacon from being put in the deep freeze.
I not in a hurry to die yet, but i bloody well could have.
Doctors Are not in my opinion as well trained as they used to be.
And some of them truly overpaid!!!
Much more is learnt ON the Job, as in other trades!
Training isn't the all end of it?
Learning is a life long process, some get smarter, as they go.
We all are truly different.
I could have been a doctor, had i been mentored well. But never got there. But anyway thats beside the point. Somethings gotta Change, and in my house. Health, needs to stand first, Jobs second, then when money rolls in, Then they can build the Submarines lol GET IT. PUt ya hands UP if ya get IT?
Janran
26th May 2016
12:30pm
holtg, I think the main problem is that everyone thinks we SHOULD have "the latest facilities, tech, drugs". So much money is spent, and I believe, wasted, on the latest whizz-bang diagnostic machine, when it could be so much better spent on primary and preventative medicine. Big Pharma don't want to know about preventative medicine and unfortunately, Big Pharma dictate much medical practice in Australia. Pharmaceutical Reps give free samples of the latest drugs to Doctors - do you think they are not more likely to prescribe said drugs? Of course they do.

We could revolutionize Medicare and health outcomes in Australia if we were free of Big Pharma's influence. Health authorities never measure the harm done by the side effects of drugs, they just offer new drugs to treat the side effects. This is how it goes:
- a retiree goes to the Dr because of an arthritic condition emerging,
- Dr prescribes an anti-inflammatory drug instead of a)giving some simple diet advice, like "no orange juice at breakfast"), or b) suggesting herbal supplements that don't have side effects.
- Patient presents next week with upset stomach issues, caused by the drug,
- Dr prescribes Gaviscon (or similar) to settle stomach,
- Patient presents with constipation. Dr prescribes drug to help.
The patient is now taking 4 drugs, just because they had a little arthritis in their finger.
Once your bowels are slowed down, toxins accumulate and chronic diseases follow. And we wonder why hospitals are overcrowded.
What a waste of money and resources!!!
particolor
26th May 2016
12:33pm
More HEAR ! HEAR !! :-)
buby
29th May 2016
11:27am
I believe some things go hand in hand, if we not healthy enough to work most of us won't, especially if there are NO jobs to be had!
And trust me i'm sure most of us can tell the difference, as to what it was like in the old days, when applying for jobs.
To the likes of today problems!!
Yes Big Pharm, is influencing many making us think its the way we should go. NO, they are influencing in other ways i'm sure we don't even think about. Don't forget Some drug companies like MONsanto, try to manipulate the food industries. And stuffing everybody up in their ways of thinking. And cancer being more prominent in society now, than it used to be, you know so many thinks are changing leaving us completely confused. Yes don't drink the orange juice, god knows what its made of in this day and age.
and PS can i say Gaviscon, is crap and costs us more money, but because the doctor advises its use, we buy it. And you know each tie we do, HE gets a cut from that!! But you know Bi-Carb of soda will do the same thing, and its cheaper, OH please send all donations to me. NO where else okay :)
Seriously think PPl.
tactful
26th May 2016
12:55pm
Before Medicare, we did not have huge waiting lists for medical treatment, everyone was charge a fee for using the emergency dept or outpatients dept as well as all the other services, same with all medical practitioners.
No one was without private health insurance, even those on government payments still had private health insurance. How, each person was issued with an SHC voucher which gave the person and their family free basic hospital and medical cover, if the person wanted to pay the difference for a higher cover they could.
Remember we are talking pre 1975, once Medicare was introduced, well the private health funds that had to pay out the medical service claims were subject to so many fraudulent claims it was not funny. This happens how to a much lesser degree.
What is not understood that people who can afford to have private health insurance do not bother to take it out, people head to the emergency department for coughs and colds instead of the GP. Nothing is for nothing is all costs.
The money put up for Hospitals is for the building/expansion/revamping, it does not cover any of the equipment, staff wages etc, so I don't understand why people get all upset of something easily understood.
One must also remember that Hospitals are the actual responsibility of each State and again the funds do not cover equipment and staff.
It is the responsibility of ALL who live in Australia to correctly use our health system and not abuse it as they currently do.
The one thing that totally angers me is the stupidity of labor/greens voters who do not care where the money comes from to pay for all the outlandish and unfunded promises made.
Labor will introduce more taxes which we will all pay, it is on the cards the medicare levy will increase, I also believe Labor will increase the GST to try and cover some of their spending.
Greens well they want everything you have when you die if it is over $1 million.
MICK
26th May 2016
8:50pm
You were sounding good until you made this a political rave.
Whilst I agree with some of your post and I find the rorting from people and self interest doctors abhorrent the problem is not Labor supposedly milking the system. The problem is that checks and balances are not built into the system.
The alternative is a US based health care system. You need to go the US and investigate what you are promoting. No thanks to that one....from somebody who hardly ever (so far) uses Medicare.
particolor
26th May 2016
9:21pm
I'm sorry too for all the Doctors that Died of Starvation waiting for me to drop in ! :-( :-(
Oars
27th May 2016
2:32pm
Particolor- NOw you are getting started. Well put. Maybe they had shares in the local funeral parlors ??
particolor
27th May 2016
2:54pm
I aim to survive till 105 to get all my TAX Money back !! :-) :-)
buby
29th May 2016
11:30am
what we REALLY need tactful, IS to CUT the Crap, and we should be striving for a REPublic.
GET rid of the fools trying to rule, those that have had it too good for too long. ITS TIME FOR a change.
REmember to Vote INdependant
Pamiea
26th May 2016
1:32pm
TactlessI disagree with you. The Libs look after fatcats and not normal Joe Blows which Australia is mainly made up of.
particolor
26th May 2016
2:06pm
TRUE !!
Oars
27th May 2016
2:23pm
Particolor do you have any long winded opinion, or are you still at work and the boss won't allow too much time on the PC ?
Oars
26th May 2016
2:35pm
I have visited many times people in hospital, and cannot believe there are so many staff dfoing very lkittle. They all seem to be very keen to work shifts that cost double, and many in the Sydney hospitals are from "overseas". Very few "tru Blues". Why is that. Are the wages kept under strict control, or are the hospital Managers too scared to cut back in case of public outcry.?
particolor
26th May 2016
2:50pm
They will be called Racist if they cut staff !! :-)
Janran
26th May 2016
2:52pm
Don't blame the hard-working and often overworked hospital staff! They are the ones who are genuinely trying to service people's health requirements. It's the management and directives from State Health Departments that are the problem in hospitals.

Oars, did it occur to you that hospital staff try to do all their work OUTSIDE of visiting hours? Who wants to visit Nan while staff are changing that nasty (super-staph?) dressing on her chest?
MICK
26th May 2016
5:46pm
I have hardly ever been into hospitals (touch wood) but always seen staff hard at work. You must be on the North Shore Oars.
Oars
27th May 2016
1:59pm
A good test of the staff's wages, is the age and value of the car park- staff only. Very little under $50K- on the Inner City and all the way out to Concord Hospital. The North Shore lot probably have an account with the Lexus and Lamborgini car dealers- uptrade each year. And that's the cleaners. The quacks on the other hand have their shares portfolio handled by their friendly and costly finance advisers. Whew. I love this column. Gets the snoozers out of their "sunken" arm chairs. !!!
particolor
27th May 2016
2:58pm
On "Carry on Doctor" the Chief Doc got around in Morris Minor ! :-) :-)
Oars
28th May 2016
1:52pm
Morris Minor- I learned to drive on such a beast. My Dad was a senior Government servant- but used to take a bus to work. The Doctors around our way- (middle working class) had a great big Mercedes. He was a good man and one of the last of REAL Doctors.
buby
29th May 2016
11:36am
yes Oars i see the same Thing IN melbourne.
I was NOT impressed.
I went in for BAck operation.
Well i found the nurses are still working very hard, and the Doctors too.
But i tell ya something, the phsio's and other NO they not work so hard.
When i was leaving, i needed a pick up stick as i couldn't bend.
and they said i could have one, but they didn't have one that was new. WHY was that i wondered.
They offered me a broken ONE. I took it.
And i fixed it to work better.
and was satisfied, for a while until It eventually fell apart. Then i had to hunt down another, cause i still needed one.
I found i could only get one from the UK, then they said they found contact with a place where they send it in Victoria, and i could go get one from there.
Then i found i got one NEw, and by rights I should have been able to send back the old one and get it fixed. BUT NOT the whole systems stuffed, and nothing can be done.
They certainly not as organised as the Pommies. OH and may i say, the Phsio's were INdian!!! perhaps they couldn't communicate properly. I don't know what the heck is going oN. Something's NOT working but!
Mike Butler
26th May 2016
6:30pm
Once more, so much nonsense from the Doctors' Union!

How is it that bulk billing rates have actually gone UP while the freeze has been in place?

And as for Owler's howler about the freeze affecting specialists, I almost rolled around the floor laughing! I am a Queenslander of "advanced" age who spent far too much time at Noosa Heads covered in vinegar and olive oil in my youth! (Yes, young ones, the Baby Boomers actually believed that vinegar and olive oil would help you get a tan). Consequently, I had my first Basal Cell Carcinoma cut out in 1978 and go to my wonderful dermatologist every six months to protect me from worse outcomes.

I always joke with my dermo that my visits pay for the lease on his Audi Coupe!

But the facts are these! I would not know of one specialist who maintains total adherence to the scheduled fee! My dermatologist is a lovely and very talented practitioner, and I am happy to pay what he charges --- but what he charges bears no possible resemblance to the government mandated fee! Very few specialists in high-demand specialties bulk bill!
Oars
27th May 2016
2:21pm
Mike- you hit the nail on the head. In my full-time working career I attended the usual Rotary and Lions and Chamber of Comm meetings. The Doctors were either absent getting some trip overseas, or having trouble in deciding their next licar- but a few were willing to "come down to our level". I was in envy how they always had plenty of cash to "take a trip to wherever" at the drop of a hat. My humble purse allowed me one trip to Bali- never to return thanmks !. So I wonder how many of you great scribes actually know the facts about these Quacks. 10 years out of most Uni graduation, the other ptrofessions are still pretrty average considering they are 28 to 38 years old. A year 9 bricklayer or real estate agent is earning more than these others at their same age. Let's see if I have any takers on that.
Not Senile Yet!
27th May 2016
12:16am
Medicare was designed to accommodate the broke & unemployed with no money who NEEDED medical attention so they CAN get back to work.....you Morons!!!!
Paying 1 or 2 % extra on the Medicare Levy is preferable to having people turned away at the door because they have no medical Insurance and/or no money like in America!!!!
That system simply does not work...it only locks them into never being able to get well and then get back to work at some point!!!
Besides....we are Australia.....we are not the USA....and never want to be!!!
We can do better than they do......we need to keep Medicare at all costs!
Besides...in this ever changing world....you may be the one out of work and sick!
You may be the one that needs Medicare.....just to get well....and return to employment!
This Liberal Party has been taken over by the Extreme Right Wing Faction from within and is only interested in Privatising everything and stuff those that cannot pay!
Do NOT Vote the imbeciles BACK IN!
particolor
27th May 2016
12:32am
OK ! Some of us wont ! But get the Penetrine for the Rusted on Ones !! :-)
buby
29th May 2016
11:43am
BANGS THE TABLE AND YELLS HEAR hear "NOT senile YEt"
I stand in line behind you, i'm sure your the only sensible one i have here yet.
And i might Add WE should become a republic!
WEll how else would you get rid of the Imbeciles we don't need.
and those Privatising, everything. Where are their brains!!!!
They must be getting a cut from all that privatising i reckon??
particolor
29th May 2016
12:11pm
I'll tell you this much ! None of them will be Retiring IN POVERTY ! :-) :-)
particolor
29th May 2016
12:12pm
You Reckon !! :-) :-) :-)


Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles

you might also be interested in...

Is Centrelink checking your bank account?

Does Centrelink have the power to check your bank account? The answer may surprise you.

Income test limits for pensions

The CPI rise in pension payments is also reflected by an increase in the amount of income you can receive before you lose your pension completely.

Utility bills are on the rise

YOURLifeChoices shows how to reduce your power costs and make your life that little bit easier.

Increased asset test limits

Asset limits have been reviewed and increased in line with recent CPI pension increases.

Guide to Centrelink

YOURLifeChoices answer your questions on the Age Pension, Starting retirement and using Centrelink Online Services.