$7 fee scares patients away immediately

Many practices saw attendances plunge after the budget announcement, as patients apparently feared the so-called GP tax would take immediate effect.

Some Western Sydney practices reported falls of 50% on the following day.

Medical recruitment specialist Chris Babich said doctors had complained of drops of at least 20%.

“They were at a loss to explain it, other than patients were confused about when the co-payment would start,” he said.

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