The discarded co-payment will still hit families hardest, says Katter

 10 December 2014: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has today criticised the Government’s decision to reduce the rebate paid to doctors in place of its controversial Medicare Co-Payment, meaning that doctors will invariably have to charge patients the shortfall.

The Prime Minister yesterday scrapped his original proposal to force patients to pay an extra $7 for a visit to the GP, but said that instead the Medicare rebate given to doctors will be cut by $5.

“This is still going to hit families in the hip pocket,” Mr Katter said.

“Most doctors I know are not on huge money. This is a major re-adjustment in their income, it basically takes away 10% of a doctor’s income.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that they will have to pass the costs on.”

Mr Katter questioned whether the Government was so desperately broke that it had to stoop to this?

“They bring in 270,000 students per year, half the costs of those students going to university are borne by the Government.

“There are 800,000 people seeking 200,000 jobs. 600,000 of those people are from overseas and 200,000 are from the Australian work market. That puts 200,000 Australians on the dole, at $35,000 per year, that’s $7000 million that the Government could find.

“You don’t have to take the money off the Australians that are so sick that they have to go to the doctor.

“Everyone’s going to lose this way.

“In the rural parts of Australia, our cost of living is nearly 30% higher than in Brisbane. There’s just not enough money to keep the body and soul together,” Mr Katter said.