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Budget for medicines and cancer but no hip pocket relief



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CHF is an independent not for profit organisation representing over 2 million health consumers.

Consumers Health Forum of Australia PO Box 3099 Manuka ACT 2603 T: 02 6273 5444 www.chf.org.au

ABN 82 146 988 927

MEDIA RELEASE

14 May 2013

Budget for medicines and cancer but no hip pocket relief

Patients with cancer or needing new medicines will benefit but there is little relief from hip pocket pain in tonight’s budget, says Carol Bennett, CEO of the Consumers Health Forum.

“The heavier costs consumers now face are fuelling the emergence of a two-tiered health system --- one for those who can afford to pay and one for those who cannot. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of Australians, particularly the aged and the chronically ill, who are struggling to afford necessary medical treatment,” Ms Bennett said.

“Medicare is already under strain. We expect to see GP bulk billing drop and even greater pressure on doctors to speed up patient consultations..

“CHF has demonstrated the growing burden health care places on families with our recent “Hip Pocket Pain” campaign, showing that Australians pay among the highest out-of-pocket costs in the world, averaging over $1,000 a year..

“The ballooning expense to government and individuals underlines the need for fresh approaches to pay for health care that will result in more effective, targeted treatment and reduced out-of-pockets. We have an ageing population, increased demand and government revenue slowing and to pay simply for patient throughput no longer makes sense, ” Ms Bennett said..

Key measures (over four years)

 -$871 million in Medicare spending cuts  +$688 million in PBS for medicines  +$226 million in cancer programs

ENDS

Media inquiries: Mark Metherell, 0429111986

CHF is an independent not for profit organisation representing over 2 million health consumers.

Consumers Health Forum of Australia PO Box 3099 Manuka ACT 2603 T: 02 6273 5444 www.chf.org.au

ABN 82 146 988 927