Calls for change following blow to bulk billing
THE DECISION to remove increased bulk billing incentives in Ipswich is simply not good enough, Blair MP Shayne Neumann says.
The changes came into effect from January 1 after the boundaries determining a rural or remote location eligible for the incentive was revised and redrawn, removing Ipswich from the list.
Mr Neumann said it was the second blow the local health sector had received in a matter of months, after changes were made to the workforce distribution priority areas for doctor eligibility.
“This is a double blow locally for local doctors and for health outcomes in our area. It’s not good enough and the Government should reverse this decision,” Mr Neumann said.
The Blair MP penned another letter to Minister for Health Greg Hunt and called for him to reconsider.
“Chronic disease in Ipswich is more than 10 per cent higher than the national average,” he said.
“The assessment also indicates the West Moreton Region sits at equal second for hindered access to medical services due to financial constraints. This change will be another hit for people living in Ipswich and ensure it’s more difficult for disadvantaged community to achieve better health outcomes.”
Minister for Regional Services Mark Coulton said the incentives were based on outdated 1991 population statistics.
Under the changes, all doctors who bulk bill will continue to be eligible for standard bulk billing incentives. The changes only relate to higher incentives.