Beach report further evidence that proposed co-payments hurt the most vulnerable

10 Jul 2014

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said this week that the highly-respected Byte from the Beach report from the University of Sydney provides further evidence that the Government’s proposed co-payment for GP, radiology, and pathology services, and increased co-payments for medicines, will hit vulnerable patients the hardest.

A/Prof Owler said the Byte from the BEACH report is the first to clearly quantify the likely impact of the Government's Budget measures for health.

“This is the sort of research that the Government should have conducted before the Budget,” A/Prof Owler said.

“The report shows the cost impact for patients who have the types of conditions that must be properly managed in the community to avoid more costly hospital treatment,” A/Prof Owler said.

“It highlights that older Australians, who generally need more medical care, will be hardest hit by the co-payments.

A/Prof Owler said that the AMA is encouraged that the Government is showing signs of having another look at some aspects of the current co-payment model.

“We have accepted the Government’s invitation to provide alternative models that promote health policies such as chronic disease management and preventive health care, and which value general practice, radiology, and pathology services.

“It is important that people, especially the most vulnerable in the community, are not discouraged from seeing their doctor.

“It is equally important that we avoid health policies that either directly or indirectly put pressure on the capacity of our public hospitals,” A/Prof Owler said.

Media release

For more detail on the study see BEACH Byte No: 2014;3