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Have your say on out of pocket health care costs

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The Australian Federal Minister for Health the Hon. Peter Dutton has called for a national debate on making our health system more sustainable, and it is essential that people living with a health condition and their families are a key part of this debate.

The Federal Government has been told to introduce a Medicare co-payment to see the GP and there are indications that the Government is considering introducing more user pays into our health care system. This means the out of pocket costs inquiry to be conducted by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee comes at a challenging time for TSC families and others living with a chronic health conditions.

The Consumers Health Forum, of which ATSS is a member, argues there are other ways of countering the growth in health costs that do not require increasing out of pocket costs. From the Consumers Health Forum:

The Consumers Health Forum argues there are other ways of countering the growth in health costs that do not require increasing out of pocket costs. Later this month (April) we will publish a new issue of our Health Voices journal which will present proposals by 20 of Australia’s top health experts on how to get better value for our health dollar.

Many of their ideas would indicate we do not need to add further financial barriers to patients to ensure Australia retains a world standard health system.

It is the real life, real stories and real decisions that consumers have to make that will bring home to our politicians just how health care costs are hurting so many Australians.

Often the health costs issue gets overlooked because many of us are fortunate to have good health. But we know that often it is the costs of illness, particularly chronic conditions, and not just the physical impact of the condition itself, that causes as much pain. That explains why so many older people skimp and save to hold on to their health insurance.

Personal impacts may range from gap charges running into hundreds of dollars for GP, specialist and private hospital care, the significant cost of prescribed medicines and over the counter products, health aids like spectacles and hearing aids, dental bills and transport costs. It is also the human side of this policy debate that engages the interest of the media and politicians.

Tell your story.

ATSS will be making a submission to this inquiry on behalf of people living with TSC and their families. You can email [email protected], comment below or contact us to provide your input to our submission.

You may like to tell us about:

  • The number of different health services you use and the frequency of your visits to these health services;
  • How much you spend out of pocket on health services and whether you believe these to be excessive;
  • How much you spend on other costs associated with your (or your child’s) TSC

Please try to make your submission by April 30 to ensure we can include your point of view.

If you would prefer to make your own submission instead (or as well!), you can:

  • send email submissions to [email protected]
  • Or by post to: Committee Secretary Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs,  PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600, Phone: +61 2 6277 3515 Fax: +61 2 6277 5829

For further advice see: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/OnlineSubmission. Submissions directly to the Committee should be received by 12 May 2014.



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