Conversations about Medicare

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Help improve Australian healthcare! By sharing your health experiences and ideas, you can help consumer advocates and consumer organisations work for change that improves things for you, patients, carers, families and communities. 

  • Christopher's picture

    Campaign for accessible eye care for all Australians

    Approximately 85% of all eye and vision conditions are preventable with regular eye checks – this is the reason why so many Australians rely upon their optometrist for timely and affordable eye care. Timely access to an optometrist also eases the pressure on our hospital system and specialist care, providing governments with many financial and economic benefits. Unfortunately, the Australian Government have recently made it much harder for many optometrists to continue to provide services at minimal or no out-of-pocket expense to their patients. Most services provided by an optometrist are...Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    Changes to the co-payment plan - your thoughts?

    The Federal Government has announced changes to the proposed GP co-payment. Information is available on the Department of Health website . The changes include exemptions for concession card holders, people under 16 years old, pensioners, veteran’s funded through the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs, attendances at residental aged care facilities, and pathology and diagnostic imaging services. What do you think of the plan? Have a say!...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Do you have moderate or severe sensorineural hearing loss?

    The Government is considering whether or not a new form of treatment for this condition should attract a Medicare rebate. This treatment involves the insertion of an active middle ear implant to detect sound, and is intended as a treatment when all other conventional treatment options have been exhausted. The Consumers Health Forum is keen to hear from consumers who have sensorineural hearing loss and have tried, or are not suitable for other forms of treatment (e.g. conventional hearing aids). We want to know what health outcome you most want to see improve that isn’t addressed by your...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Have you had an arthroscopic hip procedure?

    This procedure is currently being reviewed to ensure it is supported by up-to-date scientific evidence, provides value for money, and improves health outcomes. The Consumers Health Forum is keen to hear from consumers who have had this procedure so that we can ensure your views are taken into account in the review. We want to know: · Why you had this procedure done (e.g. because you had hip pain) · What health outcome did you most want to see improve as a result of the procedure? e.g. pain, range of movement, quality of life etc Your story is important! It will help shape a Government...Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    The costs of medical imaging

    Have you been told to come back the next day for another medical imaging service? ABC News recently spoke to CHF about the costs of medical imaging, and a loophole that has been discovered that sees some medical imaging companies bringing consumers back on different days in order to get additional Medicare payments. The story has sparked intense debate on the ABC News facebook post (which you can read at ). CHF have created a Diagnostic and Informed Consent Consumer Resource which can help you to better understand your options when...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Medicare needs a revamp – but not at the expense of those who need it most

    The Australian Government wants to spend public money more efficiently. Different ways to bring down health care costs are being discussed. Recent disclosures concerning a proposed $6 co-payment to see the GP , and Medibank Private’s trial of a scheme giving preferment to GP patients with health insurance, point to a disturbing erosion of Medicare’s goal of access for all to primary health care. But rising out of pocket costs already limit access to health services. [1] Australian out of pocket costs are among the highest in the OECD , at nearly 20 per cent of health funding. [2] The...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Staff are incredible

    I have found this service invaluable. I doubt I would of sought help if this service wasn't supported by Medicare due to lack of affordability within our budget. The staff are incredible and very knowledgable. It has always been a comfortable and supportive environment...Read more
  • Geraldine's picture

    Patient Cost of Diagnostic Imaging

    Over the years I’ve noticed that the gaps I’m being asked to pay for diagnostic imaging services are getting bigger and bigger, and services like mammography, fluoroscopy and gynecological ultrasound are very difficult to access if you want a bulk billed service. As the consumer representative on DOHA ’s Diagnostic Imaging Advisory Committee, I’ve learnt that Medicare rebates for diagnostic imaging services haven’t been indexed since 1998. This is forcing practices to push up the gaps that patients have to pay, in order to cover their increased costs of the last 15 years. Patients who can’t...Read more
  • SUzylee's picture

    transport issues

    For people who live in small rural towns or in remote areas the issue of travelling to cities to attend specialist visits is a complicated and time consuming one that adds to the stress of people with health problems. The whole process for Queenslanders is complex, time consuming and involves far too much paper work. I have to go to the GP and get him to fill out a complicated form - then go to the office of the local hospital and get this approved BEFORE I go to the specialist. They give me yet another complicated form which MUST be filled out by the specialist, given back to me, and I then...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Time to Mend Medicare!

    Medicare is failing while our politicians turn a blind eye to the widespread and growing inequities facing those needing treatment. Today, CHF has joined with Catholic Health Australia, the Mental Health Council of Australia, the Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation to highlight this issue in the lead up to the federal election. It’s time both sides of politics acknowledged the growing barriers to care besetting millions of Australians, particularly the chronically ill, and act to restore what is meant to be a universal health system. To...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Consumer stories can help Government decide what should be funded under Medicare - we need your stories!

    Have you, or someone you care for, experienced any of these medical procedures? Did you have to pay for the entire cost out of your own pocket without reimbursement? • Capsule endoscopy to diagnose small bowel Crohn’s disease • DXA scan (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) to identify if you’re at risk of osteoporosis • Procedure to remove an imbedded object in the eye performed by an optometrist • Transcatheter closure of ventricular septal defect • Catheter-based renal denervation for resistant hypertension These procedures are currently being considered for funding through the Medicare...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Consumers Health Forum says it's a Budget for medicines and cancer, but no hip pocket relief

    CHF’s Analysis of the 2013-14 Budget provides an overview of the key initiatives as outlined by the Government, CHF’s position on these initiatives, and significant omissions from the budget. View CHF's Analysis at: Some patients with cancer or needing new medicines will benefit from the 2013-14 Federal Budget, but there is little relief from hip pocket pain, with delayed indexation on MBS items and restricted access to the Extended Medicare Safety Net. What does the Budget mean for you and your family? We'd like to hear your...Read more
  • concerned citizen's picture

    When you forget to ask how much a service costs...

    I recently went to an eye specialist where I had a few tests done. The specialist fee was $200 and had to be paid then and there. Immediately after my appointment, the specialist asked me to walk to the nearby eye hospital to get another test done. A week later, I got billed $77 for the hospital fee, which is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. I'm not complaining, but I wish they would tell you in advance what the various fees are. I believe this is called 'informed financial consent'. I know it sounds dumb, but when you're in a vulnerable state (in my...Read more
  • Catch22's picture

    Genetic Gum Disease - Dentist charging above the now expired Medicare rebate

    My Husband has a genetic gum disease that causes his teeth to break off at the gums and at present he has only 5 or 6 teeth left 2 of which are the only ones to meet together to chew food. He is only 35 and has been told numerous times that this would be poisoning his body. He has been referred by GP's to the dentist, as it is a life threatening condition, under the now expired GP referral system. Once he got to the dentist on 3 different occasions he was then told they would be charging him money despite the medicare rebate. Now the scheme has been stopped! We are not rich and still...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Seeing my doctor for repeat prescriptions

    I am on colestrol tablets and my doctor says I have to stay on them permanently, I find it most annoying that I have to wait to see my doctor, sometimes up to 4 days to get a prescription renewed. I think it would be much better for me and the government if the doctor could write out a script and leave it at the desk for a small fee instead of a visit which costs me nothing but Medicare a doctors fee.Read more
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