News

GP tax to impact aged care, dementia and chronically ill

AGED care providers will be out of pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars and elderly people with chronic diseases will be impacted by the Federal Government's GP Tax.

This was the message from the Australian Medical Association, an Aged Care provider and politicians today.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten held a press conference this morning in Melbourne with Doutta Galla Aged Care Services chairman Bruce Mildenhall, who claimed the tax would leave the network of community-based aged care facilities out of pocket $800,000 a year.

"This is a dreadful attack on some of the most vulnerable and helpless people in our community," Mr Mildenhall said.

"As of tomorrow, $800,000 is being ripped out of our annual Budget. These services, these therapies that help provide a decent and reasonable quality of life for people who are severely affected by dementia are going to disappear unless severe cuts are made to other operating parts of our budget."

He said dementia was one of the top 10 health issues facing Australia.

Meanwhile, the Australian Medical Association and Katter Australia Party hit out at the impacts the tax will have on elderly people with chronic disease.

KAP leader Bob Katter
KAP leader Bob Katter Contributed

North Queensland communities who are already hurting due to the cost of petrol, insurance, rates and general health care will feel the pain at the hip pocket if there is any increase to the cost of prescription medications.

"Older people-and the demographic in Far North Queensland is very old people-can pay upwards of $100 a month for pharmaceuticals. Once you get over the age of 69 or 70, you are looking at $100 a month at least. We are talking about an extra $20 here.

"It does not sound like much, but if they pay, as we do in North Queensland, $3,500 for rates and $3,500 for insurance-that is half of their income gone on insurance and rates. I do not know how people are able to afford a feed! We have had two cases of people pulling their own teeth out with a pair of pliers because they could not afford a dentist" Mr Katter said.

 AMA Associate Professor Brian Owler said Australia's biggest challenge in terms of healthcare is going to be an ageing population and the burden of chronic disease.

"As we get older, we often have more chronic diseases. It doesn't mean people are sick, but it means their disease needs to be managed and the right person to do that is going to be the person's GP," he said.

"About 50% between the ages of 65 and 74 have five or more chronic diseases that need to be managed.

"I don't think there's any evidence to say at the moment that we have a widespread problem with unnecessary visits to the GP from elderly folk that are going to simply have a chat."

Topics:  australian medical association, bob katter, gp tax



Springtime Ball a success

ALL SMILES: Jeff, Pauline, Joanna and Glenda enjoying the Caves Ball.

The Caves Springtime Ball was a massive success.

Political blogger will 'vigorously defend' stalking claims

Petros Khalesriad and lawyer Kris Jahnke leave Rockhampton Court House after having their bail variation application dismissed.

WATCH: Petros Khalesirad failed in an attempt to change his bail

Yeppoon Rd open to traffic again following crash

Queensland Fire and Rescue.

Two people were taken to hospital

Local Partners

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

Projects hoped to revive Rockhampton real estate

There have been just over 800 house sales in Rockhampton this year

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

14% of renovators doing own electrical work?

Landscaping (46%), demolition (43%) and interior design (77%) are also often tackled head on by plucky homeowners.

And 12% said they did their own plumbing work

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.