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Howard's cuts to end bulk billing by stealth



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. MEDIA RELEASE

October 17,1996

Thy Doctors' Reform Society today warned bulk billing will cease for many people within one month following the Howard Government's decision to freeze Medicare Rebates.

The Society's President, Dr Con Costa, said the threat to bulk billing would result in people paying at least $$4 for every visit to the local doctor.

It follows the Howard Government's decision to freeze the Medicare Rebate at $20 - meaning many doctors can not afford to maintain bulk hilling

’So much for John Howard’s promise not to dismantle Medicare. He's destroying bulk billing by stealth.

JA family with three children, for example, will face a health bill of over $100 if their children get the flu and need to visit the doctor.

"The freeze on Medicare Rebates threatens the viability of general practice and means most doctors will no longer be able to afford to provide bulk billing.

"In Victoria, some practices have already moved to end the provision of bulk billing.

"The Society's members in NSW predict some practices here will coaso in November.

I/Ve are so concerned by the Howard Government's decision we are urging voters to protest the decision during the Lindsay by-election on Saturday.

“Local doctors are recommending all voters In Lindsay put the Liberals last to send a clear message to Canberra - we want to save Medicare and bulk billing," Dr Costa said.

Contact; Dt, Con f.nsta (02) 558 0219

(02) 71b 8732

018 400 309