If you can afford it, make a co-payment: Dutton

The comments, made on the ABC’s 7.30 Report last night, have led to accusations from the opposition that Mr Dutton intends to dismantle Medicare through moves that would place greater pressure on hospital emergency departments as patients sought more affordable care.

Mr Dutton told the ABC the existing model of patient co-payments for PBS medications should be considered as part of a national debate regarding the need to overhaul the way MBS costs are covered by patients and the government.

While Mr Dutton stopped short of endorsing a patient co-payment model – such as the $6 co-payment model recently flagged by the Australian Centre for Health Research – he said current health funding models needed to be strengthened so services could be sustained in the long term.

When asked if this meant increasing costs for healthcare “for those who could afford to pay more”, Mr Dutton replied: “well I think it does