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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

LISTEN: Police investigating violent home invasion

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Moon Officer in Charge of the Rockhampton CIB speaks to media.

Police are still looking for a third male offender

Man sold drugs to get through mining downturn

His trucking business went under so he took to selling pot

Gracemere auction promises to be a bargain hunter's dream

BIG RIG: Clinton Taylor prepares his items for auction earlier this month.

Auction to be biggest yet boasting everything from trucks to tools

Latest deals and offers


Win a $1,000

Grocery Gift Card
Learn More

What's on in the region this week?

Queensland Maroons State of Origin captain Cameron Smith pose for photographs during the State of Origin series launch at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

Here's some local events to keep you entertained through the week.

Justin Miller outside court

OUTSIDE COURT: Justin Miller (left) leaves Rockhampton court house afetr giving evidence in the Peter Penaia trial.

Justin Miller outside court

John Bowen talks about Rockhampton Hospital car parking

ON THE STREETS: John Bowen took to Agnes St to ask residents their concerns about hospital parking.

John Bowen talks about Rockhampton Hospital car parking

Sea of Hands

Laurel Mason at the Sea of Hands on the lawns of City Hall. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

Laurel Mason speaks about the Sea of Hands at City Hall.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked