GP Co-payment on hold

The Federal Government has withdrawn legislation to implement measures for the proposed $7 GP co-payment, due to a lack of support.

This is consistent with a general Government refocussing in the last month or so on pushing through legislation that has a better chance of being passed by the Senate.

The Government has emphasised on a number of occasions since the measure was shelved though that it is not dead yet, and that they still hope to be able to see it passed in future.

At a recent medical research centre launch in Sydney, the Prime Minister highlighted the clever political tactic of connecting the co-payment to the Medical Research Future Fund, by pointing out that many more research jobs would be available if the co-payment were allowed to pass.

However recent analysis in NSW showed that introducing the co-payment would threaten gains in Emergency Department waiting times. The AMA too continues to oppose the measure, and numbers in the Senate still appear to be against it.

The AMA has expressed additional concern over the possible compromises that may be made to achieve savings in the health sector. This may mean that the co-payment ultimately finds support if only as the lesser of possible evils.

Putting all of this together, it appears that while there has been a temporary reprieve, the GP co-payment is still showing signs of life.

Posted: October 24, 2014 | 0 comments