As part of promises made in Budget 2018, changes are taking place from 1 December 2018 intended to make GP visits more affordable for certain groups.
Free for under 14 year olds
- Free consultations for children will be extended to include all children under 14 years of age.
Community Services Card (CSC) holders (non-ACC consults)
- GP’s have been given the option to accept a government contract aiming to provide lower fees to patients with CSC’s (community services cards). Marshlands Family Health Centre will not be opting in to this scheme at this stage, meaning that fees for CSC holders will remain the same.
- One of the main issues for Marshlands Family Health Centre is that with the proposed CSC scheme it is anticipated that many more patients will attend for appointments and advice. For some age groups this increase could be as high as 30%. This would mean a significant increase in workload for all the staff at Marshlands Family Health Centre. Already we are often fully booked and any increase in demand could make it even more difficult for patients to get appointments when they want them. Because we are a small practice, we do not have the ability to hire more staff to accommodate an increase in demand. We wish to continue to provide an effective and valued service for our patients.
- We understand that some patients may decide to transfer to another practice due to financial constraints. We do have patients from all income levels that choose to make regular payments, e.g. $5 or $10 per week, enabling them to visit the practice at times of need. This spreads the cost of visits over the year making it easier to budget.
- At Marshlands Family Health Centre we strive to provide you with the best possible service and want this to continue.
ACC consults for CSC holders
- From 1st December 2018 there will however, be additional government funding for ACC consultations for patients with CSC’s (and their dependents).
- Therefore the cost of an ACC consultation for this group of patients will drop. Revised fees for ACC consultations for CSC holders are:
- 0 -17 years (dependents of CSC holders) Free
- 18-24 years $15.00
- 25 + years $22.00