‘Dumbing down the health system’ – doctors dissect budget

The government is set to reap $644.4 million over four years by freezing Medicare rebate indexation at current levels until 1 July 2014, and the raising of the Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) threshold from $1221.90 to $2000 has been forecast to save $105.6 million over the same period.

MBS rebates had been due for indexation from 1 November this year.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton and RACGP president Dr Liz Marles both reiterated pre-budget warnings that the measures would lead to greater out-of-pocket expenses for patients, as doctors were forced to increase fees to cover the costs of quality health

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