Coalition supports Eden-Monaro through greater rural healthcare access

4 SEPTEMBER 2017

 

Coalition supports Eden-Monaro through greater rural healthcare access

 

The Federal Government recently announced healthcare reforms, providing greater access to Medicare rebates and giving additional support to rural communities.

 

Based on recommendations made by the MBS Review Taskforce, the Government will offer Medicare rebates to patients for after-care checks undertaken by their GPs following surgery by another specialist.

 

Previously after-care was covered in the cost of the original procedure, which meant a patient would need to see the same specialist for their after-care checks.

 

Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO said, “These changes will significantly benefit rural patients who may live hundreds of kilometres from their specialist. Those patients will now be able to see their local GP during the after-care period and that care will be covered by Medicare.”

 

Further, the Government has also expanded access for appropriately-trained GPs to 31 minor procedures under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, like skin laceration repairs, removing cysts, and performing vasectomies. Patients will now be able to see appropriately-trained local GPs for these procedures knowing they will be covered by Medicare.

 

“The Government recognises the importance of local GPs in undertaking minor procedures, particularly in rural areas,” Senator Sinodinos said.

 

These changes further support the Government's work on a National Rural Generalist Pathway.

 

A National Rural Health Commissioner will be appointed to improve access to training for doctors in regional, rural and remote Australia, and consider appropriate remuneration that recognises their extra skills and longer working hours.

 

The Commissioner will also give consideration to regional, rural, and remote nursing, dental health, Indigenous health, mental health, midwifery and allied health needs.

 

The Coalition is committed to supporting rural healthcare and to guaranteeing and strengthening Medicare.

 

Media Contact: Nat Openshaw – 0409 049 128