Abbott kills co-payment – at what cost?

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is concerned that the Abbott Government’s announcement today that they will scrap the $7 co-payment proposal will turn out to be just another broken promise.

“Mr Abbott knew the $7 GP tax was doomed, so he has been forced to go through the back door,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said.

“By reducing the rebate to $5 and calling on doctors to use their ‘discretion’ to charge, GPs will be forced to recoup the money somewhere else, either from patients themselves or by providing less services to patients.

“Doctors should be given the freedom to make good clinical decisions instead of worrying about who should be charged additional fees.

“While the Government has recognised the widespread opposition to its initial $7 co-payment proposal and Australia’s steadfast resistance to any tampering with Medicare, its plans are still crystal clear.

“The announcement today will still increase an individual’s out of pocket costs which will hurt everyday Australians and signal the end of Medicare.”

Ms Thomas said the ANMF is calling on the ALP, the Greens, PUP and key Independent Senators to help fight the Government’s latest attempt to “destroy Medicare by stealth.”