Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, State Labor candidate for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas and Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, take a tour of the Kyneton Hospital last week.The $7 GP co-payment was weighed up by Labor representatives as they toured Kyneton Hospital’s urgent care centre last week.
Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, joined by Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, to visit the facility at the invitation of State Labor candidate for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas.
The trio discussed how the co-payment would affect patients needing urgent medical attention at Kyneton Hospital.
Ms Chesters explained that patients presenting at Kyneton’s urgent care would be charged the co-payment when it comes into effect, meanwhile those who present at emergency care, such as that at Bendigo Hospital, will not.
“This idea that in an emergency you have to find $7 – it’s ridiculous and it’s not right,” she said.
“People who go to the Kyneton urgent care should be treated like a patient that goes to the Bendigo Hospital emergency care and shouldn’t have to pay up front fees to attend.”
Labor is calling for the State Government to raise the matter with the Federal Government.
Mr Jones said the co-payment will put more pressure on hospitals.
“People either won’t get the healthcare they need or they’ll be travelling to hospitals and emergency wards to try and get the healthcare they need because they can’t afford to go to their local doctors,” he said.
“It costs the system more. The most expensive place to deal with healthcare is in the hospital. The cheapest and most efficient place to deal with it is in a GP practice.”
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