Renters more likely to postpone doctor visits: Catholic Health finds

A Catholic Health Australia survey has found that people who rent their homes are three times more likely than home owners to postpone visiting a doctor for reasons of cost.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Catholic Health's highlighting of government figures showing GPs' gap fees have risen by ten times the rate of inflation in the past ten years. Gap fees are charged by doctors who do not bulk bill.

And while the percentage of specialist services which are bulk billed has declined, specialists' fees had risen even more sharply.

A Catholic Health statement urged both major political parties to bring real cash relief to average Australians so that they can access essential health care.

The rise in out-of-pocket health costs is looming as a difficult issue for both sides of politics.


SOURCE
Gap fee complaints packed off to hotline (Sydney Morning Herald, 12/9/07)

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