Your health will cost you more

15 May 2016

The AMA has made resources available for practices in our fight against the Medicare indexation freeze.  These include: 

The AMA calls on the Government to reverse its indexation freeze immediately.

The freeze on MBS indexation will create a two-tier health system, where those who can afford to pay for their medical treatment receive the best care and those who cannot are forced to delay their treatment or avoid it altogether, further exacerbating their condition, or worse.

This Government’s decision is a regressive one that is hitting the most vulnerable in the community: the most ill – especially those with chronic illness who need regular access to medical services, the elderly and vulnerable patients in our community who already have lower levels of access to health services.

The previous Labor Government first froze indexation for nine months in 2013.

The Coalition Government’s initial decision not to index the MBS for four years from 1 July 2014 until 1 July 2018 was extended by two more years to 2020 in the 2016-17 Budget, further increasing the gap between patients’ Medicare rebates and medical fees.

There will be a compounding effect forever more, on top of the Government’s estimated savings of $2.8 billion over the six years of the freeze.

This six year price halt, and its impact on the cost of private hospital treatment, is not well understood. Our already overstretched public hospitals will continue to burst at the seams, putting further strain on the public health system.

While patients’ out-of-pocket costs continue to widen, the Medicare rebates become less relative to medical costs and are placed on the endangered list, at high risk of being lost forever.