A review into the Medicare Benefits Schedule is being conducted by the Department of Health. The review will consider, according to the government, how services can be aligned with the clinical evidence and improve health outcomes for patients.
While this sounds like a great thing to do, there is a great deal of scepticism given the regular noise made by the Government about the sustainability of Australia’s healthcare system; and the need to cut funding in order to make health more sustainable. There are growing concerns that this review will be used to justify further cuts to our universal healthcare system, ensuring that people who can least afford medical attention will not get medical attention when they need it.
It is important to remember that health funding cuts, of any description, will almost certainly impact on our jobs through cuts to positions and workload increases.
Unfortunately this review has failed to identify the need to review any rebates and reimbursements distributed through the private health system. Given how much public funding is poured into propping up the private health system it must be included in any review of the Medical Benefits Schedule to ensure the private health system isn’t ordering unnecessary tests and procedures in the hope they prove their worth to policy holders.
The Union will be preparing a submission and encourages all members to contribute their own submission. It is vital that the voice of health professionals is heard in this process, and not just the voice of small group of hand-picked people.
Find out more about the MBS review at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/MBSReviewTaskforce
Submissions are due by the close of business on 9 November.