Medicare co-payment not yet law

The Medicare co-payment has not come into effect and will not until it passes through the Senate.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, is concerned by reports that people are already refraining from visiting their GP as they think the $7 GP tax has already passed into law.

"There are several measures in the Budget that need to be passed in the Senate before they come into effect.

"This includes the GP tax, changes to higher education, fuel excise levy and changes to unemployment benefits.

"People visiting the GP will not be charged the extra $7 yet."

Ms Chesters said Labor will oppose the changes in the Senate.

"I agree with local GPs, community health organisations and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia that the GP tax will deter those most in need of medical help from going to the doctors.

"It will also put unbelievable pressure on our GPs and the health services they provide.

"This is why Labor will fight the GP tax.

"We believe all Australians should get the healthcare they need, not just the healthcare they can afford.

"We don't want an American style healthcare system, that's why we'll continue to fight this in the Parliament and in the community."