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Questions to

Mr. Peter Slipper
Federal Member for Fisher, Federal Government.

The cutting of the Medicare rebate for the attention to patients wounds
in a Doctor's Surgery by the surgery nurse.

(Sent 17.01.2012)

Question 1

Were you aware that some time in the last few days the Department of Health has apparently advised medical centres and GP surgeries that Medicare will no longer pay rebates for Item No. 10996 which covers dressings applied by nurses who work with general practitioner doctors in their surgeries.

Can you advise if:

A   The reasoning for the deletion of this rebate, if in fact this rebate is being deleted?

B    Is this a cost cutting exercise?

Inquiries from the Practice Manager at a local surgery has advised that, to ensure that GPs do not lose any income from this change of policy, they will be given " incentives" to make up for the lost income;  this is expected to take effect next month.

In this case :

A    What are those incentives likely to be and how will they effect local surgeries?

B    If they are to reinburse local G.P.'s for loss of income what other benefits are to increased for those G.P.'s and what extra services can patients expect?

Question 2:

When was the decision taken to delete this Medicare benefit for patients and what is the reasoning behind that decision?

When were the people of Australia advised that this particular benefit was to be deleted.

To take this decision there must be some details as to how many people in Australia this decision will effect.    Can you give an indication of that number.

In view of the fact that the Federal Government is attempting to take pressure off Emergency Wards at public hospitals how will this decision fit in with that work?

Is this decision meant to fit in with the introduction of the so called "Super Clinics".

Were does the Government expect that this decision will leave the many elderly patients who have chronic illnesses such as diabetes, skin infections, burns and ulcers who have relied in the past on the having of their dressings changed at doctors surgeries as part of their ongoing treatment?

The Hon Peter Slipper.   M.P.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Federal Member for Fisher

Buddina Office

Location:  Shop 10A & 10B Cartwright Centre,
138  Point Cartwright Road,
Buddina Qld 4575

Postal  Address:     P.O. Box 1224, Buddina.  Qld.  4575

Peter.Slipper.MP@aph.gov.au
Phone  07 5443 3555.
Fax: (07) 5443 7270.

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