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The Forum > General Discussion > Medicare waste

Medicare waste

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Medicare funding is a big issue and the only answer seems to be cutting services and raising fees. But how about cutting millions perhaps even billions and not hurting anyone? It is simple enough. Stop using GPs as clerks.
Currently employers require a doctorís note if an employee calls in sick and Medicare pays for it. Why? Let the employers send a supervisor around to check up on their people if they canít trust them. You donít need medical knowledge to see if someone has a cold or flu. And if the sufferer claims a sore back then the supervisor will have to do exactly what the doctor does: take their word for it?
Every year when flu is rife we are told to stay home take aspirin and rest because the GP cannot help. Yet government figures show that in 2015 300,000 people saw a GP for flu related matters. Most of them would be for a sick note so that boxes can be ticked at a cost to Medicare of only $11,115,000.
There is a move to allow pharmacists and practice nurses to issue sick notes. But Medicare still pays, and the patient still has to go and fetch the note thus spreading the disease. Let the employers talk to their own people.
Posted by JohnWarren, Wednesday, 22 March 2023 2:15:01 PM
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Oh dear Johnny,

"Let the employers send a supervisor around to check up on their people if they canít trust them." A POLICE STATE. Get this, workers are "their people", sounds like Johnny supports slavery!

Universal heath care, 'Medicare', is one of the great initiatives introduced by Labor. As we know, the conservatives hate 'Medicare' and would love to dismantle it, and return to the dark old days of a "user pay" system, but they can't its too bloody popular. Dud Button has a policy of a $7, probably more now, co-payment when visiting a GP. In government the Noalition will cut funding to heath, just as they do to all basic people services provided by government. The PBS, as will Medicare, come under attack from the Noalition if they win government at the next election.

BTW, the only other post Johnny has made on this forum was back in 2018 with an attack on you guessed it, Medicare, seems Johnny has an axe to grind. See ya back in another 5 years time Johnny.
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 23 March 2023 5:00:23 AM
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Medicare is a government run system. By definition therefore it is financially profligate and inefficient. While it is among the best health systems world-wide, that's not to say that it doesn't have serious and ongoing problems which will continue to grow as demand increases and the government's financial resources decline.

Medicare of course relies heavily on that portion of the population who have private health insurance and access private facilities that alleviate the pressure on the public system. My recent experience with my wife's cancer scare showed us the value of private coverage. Things were touch and go for a period and access to immediate expertise and state of the art drug regimes were vital. I suspect I'd now be a widower were it not for our private health insurance.

I spent many decades only tangentially dealing with the health system. But with the declining health of both parents and my wife, the past 4 years have been a eye-opener. The waste of resources is monumental. Whatismore, the system is designed around the financial and career aspirations of the participants. I've become a prolific letter writer to individual hospitals and the department with thoughts on particular areas of obvious waste. Sometimes I get a reasoned reply, usually not.

My big bugbear at the moment is the requirement to make unnecessary GP visit. I'm on meds that everyone agrees I'll take for the rest of my life. But the scripts only last 3 months requiring that I visit the GP each quarter. There's no check up. Nothing else is done other than writing a new script. The GP doesn't bulk bill but is too embarrassed to ask for a co-payment for doing effectively nothing. But Medicare still kicks in the $40 or so. No one I've spoken to in the system has any reason why this is required and why I couldn't get yearly or even multi-yearly scripts except that it is a source of funds for the GPs.
Posted by mhaze, Thursday, 23 March 2023 11:37:31 AM
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I had to laugh about GPs not getting enough back from Medicare. $39.95 for 5 minutes work seems pretty good to me.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 23 March 2023 12:11:36 PM
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mhaze,

Sorry to hear you will be on medication for the rest of your life. Normally those kinds of scrips are for 5 repeats, thus a 6 month supply. Also the doctor should be reviewing your "tablets" on a regular basis.

BTW, new drugs are coming onto the market all the time, and better control of your mental illness is always possible.
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 24 March 2023 5:13:09 AM
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One script. Two repeats. Lasts 3 months. Completely inefficient. Doc agrees but nothing to be done - can't upset the SYSTEM.

Nothing to do with mental illness. Blood pressure - probably 'cause I have to deal with morons on a regular basis.
Posted by mhaze, Friday, 24 March 2023 6:44:14 AM
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