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The cost of seeing a doctor is about to go up, can family’s afford the extra fees?

The Australian Medical Association has blamed the Medicare rebate freeze on its recommendation that GPs lift fees for a standard consultation by $2 to $78 from November, reports 7 news. However the federal government insists it has nothing to do with its extended freeze on Medicare rebates.

Medicare rebates will be frozen at $37 until 2020, saving the government nearly $1 billion.

“The freeze is an enormous burden on hardworking GPs,” AMA vice-president Tony Bartone said on Wednesday.

“Practices cannot continue absorbing the increasing costs of providing quality care year after year.”

But Health Minister Sussan Ley said it was up to doctors how much they charge patients.

“We respect and value that doctors are small businesses and they have scope to set their fees according to their wishes, their business model and their patient cohort,” she told reporters at Parliament House.


Related story: Warning to parents NOT to use Facebook groups for medical advice


I must admit I put off going to the doctor these days. It is a huge chunk out of the old hip pocket to fork out in one hit. It has become something you need to budget in if you can. That’s $40 out of pocket. Not always affordable for families.

However the alternative of turning to Dr Google or Facebook is NEVER a good idea. We highly encourage against that. So many illnesses can be mistreated if you are not careful.

A recent survey found 19% of the advice given when mums jump on Facebook for help is WRONG! 2% of the advice given is downright dangerous.

It is important to remember while it is easy and reassuring to turn to Facebook for advice, these people are usually NOT experts and the best advice you can seek is from healthdirect.gov.au page or contact 1800 022 222

Will this have an impact on your family?

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  • I often Google my symptoms. Up if it’s serious, I still go to the Dr for confirmation

    Reply

  • The cost of living is going up, but our salaries are staying the same… something needs to change!

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  • Perhaps the government should stop the medicare freeze and instead freeze their salaries? I’m sure there would be more than $1 billion in savings by 2020.

    Reply

  • A lot of GPs are already charging about $25.00 gap. Some specialists over $150.00 They wonder why more people are using outpatients at public hospitals.


    • The queues at A&E are long and the pressure on hospitals is enormous.

    Reply

  • Healthcare and fees for the doctor and specialists services just keep on rising and this does nothing towards the prevention of diseases that in the long term end up costing more money with intervention and treatment. If people could afford services in early detection they would possibly not need the intensive treatment.

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  • I am worried about those that already avoid the Dr because of the cost. Now there’s going to be more avoidance. It’s not good. When will the Govt consider cutting back their wages and their work bonuses and superannuation and pensions instead of cutting back what people need

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  • Indeed. I don’t understand why having private insurance still doesn’t assure free basic gp’s visites. Quite absurd.

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  • It is ridiculous that despite Medicare and private health insurance, we still have to pay another fee when visiting the doctor.

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  • If you need to go the doctor,you will pay regardless!

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  • Dangerous development when people start to seek medical help via Google and facebook ! Good indicator that medical help should be free accessible to all.

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  • medical should always be free, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about money when you need help

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  • It seems healthcare is becoming more expensive everyday

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  • It’s going to make it hard for some – but Dr. Google can be downright dangerous

    Reply

  • I don’t agree with this freeze on Medicare rebates. I wish they would review their decision. :-(

    Reply

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