ED co-payment proposal shut down by state health ministers

Former GP and West Australian Health Minister Kim Hames said he would be “extremely uncomfortable” demanding the fee at state-run hospitals – a move proposed by the National Commission of Audit to stop people from dodging a likely new mandatory co-payment for GP visits.

“We don’t want to force people away who urgently need emergency care,” Dr Hames said.

He said patients were wrong to use an emergency department as a GP clinic but it would be “very awkward and very difficult” to turn them away. "We tell them to go to the GP clinic because it's a GP-type problem, and they say, 'No, I'm not going'; what are our options then?" Dr Hames told the ABC.

In South Australia, Labor Health Minister Jack Snelling has also rejected the possibility of any new charges for public patients.

Mr Snelling said a co-payment system would send more people to the state’s emergency departments instead of