Australia’s proposal for copayments is set to fail amid confusion

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 01 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7374
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

The Australian government’s plan to introduce a deeply unpopular copayment for GP and other medical services looks set to fail, amid confusion and disarray within government ranks.

In a briefing to journalists this week staff of Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the proposed $A7 (£4; €5; $US6) copayment would be dropped in the face of opposition in the Senate, where the Conservative government does not hold power. However, other ministers, including the federal treasurer, Joe Hockey, later said that the measure had not been shelved, while the health minister, Peter Dutton, said that it could be introduced through regulation rather than legislation. Health and medical leaders doubt, however, whether this would be possible or pursued, particularly …

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