$15 co-payment based on ‘dangerous assumption’

The college, Consumers Health Forum and Australian College of Emergency Medicine have joined forces to oppose the plan to implement co-payments for GP visits, saying it would provide a disincentive to seek primary care, which would likely increase the need for hospitalisations and end up costing the health system more. 

A Galaxy poll, commissioned by News Corp and carried out last week, showed only 35% of Australians support a $6 co-payment, while more than half oppose it outright.

The NCOA has recommended a $15 co-payment for GP visits, and for emergency department visits for ailments that could “appropriately be treated in general practice”. 

NCOA chair Tony Shepherd came under fire at a Senate committee hearing on Friday over claims that introducing a co-payment would stop Australians visiting general practitioners unnecessarily. 

“If the average is 11 [general practice visits] for every man, woman and