GP co-payment would ease workload: Mal Washer

Former West Australian MP Dr Mal Washer, who retired at last year’s federal election, was at times a voice of dissent in his party on health-related matters, calling for better treatment of refugees and scandal-plagued former Labor MP Craig Thomson, among other issues.

But today Dr Washer told MO that while some Australians would struggle with a $6 co-payment – to be considered by the Abbott government’s National Commission of Audit – those people would be exempt while others would simply restrict their GP visits to times when they were necessary.

“Certainly you don’t want to discourage people seeing doctors when they’re sick, that’s the last thing we need,” Dr Washer said.

“I don’t think [$6] is a big enough discouragement to do that. You cut out of course Health Care Card carriers and pensioners, anyone generally in that socioeconomic group who wouldn’t be able to afford $6,