Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Medicare out of pocket expenses doubled over past ten years.



Download PDFDownload PDF

www.stevegibbonsmp.com

Bendigo Phone: 03 5443 9055 Fax: 03 5443 9736 P/O Box 338 Bendigo Vic 3552

Canberra Phone: 02 6277 2230 Fax: 02 6277 8564 Suite R2 91 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Email: Steve.Gibbons.MP@aph.gov.au

25th August 2006

Medicare out of pocket expenses doubled over past ten years.

Medicare out of pocket costs have doubled in the past ten years under the Liberal/National Coalition Government according to information released by the Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott, Bendigo Federal MP Steve Gibbons said today.

Mr Gibbons said in 1996/97 the average annual out of pocket cost was $41.23 per person ($8.52 per visit). In 2005/06 the annual average out of pocket cost has reached $70.30 per person ($15.30 per visit).

“In 1996/97 the average annual out of pocket cost to see a specialist was $15.58. In 2005/06 the average annual out of pocket cost to see a specialist is $34.09”.

“The average out of pocket costs for obstetrics services have increased by 34 per cent since the June quarter 2005. Since June 2004 obstetrics costs have increased by 182 per cent”.

“One of the biggest increases in expenditure for Australian families according to the ABS is medical and health care expenses. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggests that personal health bills are rising at 6.2 percent a year - more than twice the rate of inflation”, Mr Gibbons said.

“Hard working Australians are struggling to make ends meet because of rising interest rates and crippling petrol prices and now we can add rising Medicare out of pocket expenses to the list”.

“I welcome the increase in bulk billing rates but point out they are still behind the figure of 80 per cent that existed under Labor”.

“Tony Abbott attributes the increase in the number of services bulk billed to GP incentive payments but according to the 2006/07 Budget papers funding for the incentive program will cease in 2008”.

“The Howard Government has so far refused to state whether it will extend the incentive payments to GP’s beyond 2008”.