2014 was a busy year for the team at MS Australia and as we start 2015 it has been fantastic to get some positive news on an issue we have advocated strongly against.
As some of you may be aware MS Australia joined a number of peak bodies in opposing the Federal Government’s proposed introduction of a GP co-payment. A system which would have placed a significant financial toll on people with MS and their carers.
With the introduction of Health Minister Sussan Ley, the MS community has been acknowledged. MS Australia commends her scrapping planned reductions to the Medicare rebate.
Andrew Potter, our National Advocates Coordinator, visited the GP on average each couple of weeks throughout the year, and if this is any reflection on those with multiple sclerosis, it would have been a huge out of pocket burden. These visits add up and the potential for increased GP charges could limit the ability to obtain a timely diagnosis, seek treatment for their symptoms and get access to appropriate medicines.
Minister Ley has demonstrated a willingness to listen to the community and work collaboratively to find solutions. MS Australia welcomes Minister Ley’s approach in seeking consultation with the sector.
It’s been a great start to 2015 and we look forward to continuing to advocate and make inroads for people with MS on important issues like this.