Bulk-billed After-Hours Home Doctor Visits Under Threat!
Home Doctor Visits Under Threat in significant proposed changes to Medicare
Have you ever needed Medical attention urgently for yourself or a family member when options are limited? The most common options that have been recently available are:
- Try to book into a GP Clinic where most are closed after-hours
- Wait it out, trying to rest up before going to the GP clinic the next day.
- If you are able to drive or seek transport, go to your nearest super clinic and wait.
- Seek phone advice from Nurse on Call operators
- Go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital
- Call and use an After Hours Home Visiting Doctor Service
Despite very little indication in the latest May Federal budget from the Federal Health Minister, those options may change very soon after a Government commissioned MBS Taskforce has undertaken a review of After Hours services with key recommendations to significantly reduce your ability to access after-hours care. Over 1 million families rely on Home Visiting Doctors each year and the vast majority of these are provided by dedicated After Hours Home Visiting Doctor services like My Home GP.
The main recommendation is that funding for urgent after-hours attendances only be available to GP’s that work during the day and are recalled to see a patient during the after-hours period. It is unreasonable to expect daytime GP’s to provide these services in addition to running their clinic’s during the day and this is exactly the reason that dedicated After Hours Services were introduced. If adopted, this recommendation will lead to a number of after-hours services closing leaving millions of families and older people without access to this vital Medicare funded service. Is this something you feel comfortable with?
Please have your say and help save After Hours Home Visiting Doctor services and your say. Go to http://www.mbsreview.com.au/after-hours.html and complete the questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes but may make the world of difference to ensuring this valuable service continues.