Rural doctors say axing GP co-payment a win for country patients

The Rural Doctors Association is calling for greater Government consultation, in the wake of yesterday’s dumping of the co-payment for GP visits.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared the co-payment “dead, buried and cremated”.

The association’s South Australian president, Dr Scott Lewis, will meet senior health officials in Canberra today, at an annual national meeting.

He said scrapping the co-payment was a win for country patients, although more was needed.

“The key message from our point of view is that consultation shouldn’t be something that is said out of lip-service,” he said.

“We’ve heard so many times that they are going to consult – they need to actually get out here on the ground and actually pay attention to what they are being told, this is what’s got the Government into trouble for the last six months.

“So we would really impress on them the important thing is to make sure they are actually listening to those of us out here and listening to what we think should be going on and listening to what we think will be the ramifications of their actions.”