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Home-visit doctors fear they're 'facing the axe'

House Call Doctor - Fraser Coast area manager Alex Haynes said he was staying positive about the potential changes.
House Call Doctor - Fraser Coast area manager Alex Haynes said he was staying positive about the potential changes. Alistair Brightman

HOUSE Call Doctor says its services are at risk of being axed by the Federal Government.

The bulk-billing service says the future of about 20 jobs and 20,000 patients on the Fraser Coast are in an uncertain state.

As discussions in Canberra continue about the future of Medicare services following the latest Professional Services Review, House Call Doctor CEO Wayne Ormond said home-visit doctors had been "kept in the dark" about any future changes, and were now fearing for their entire health business model.

"This would be a direct cut to an essential Medicare service," Mr Ormond said.

"We're not sure what's going on but we're not involved in the discussions about the review...which concerns us.

"House Call Doctors, and other after hours services provide vital a service in regional communities like the Fraser Coast."

Do you think tax payers should foot the bill for house doctor services?

This poll ended on 24 November 2016.

Current Results

Yes. Their services are essential to the Fraser Coast.

76%

No. Patients should pay their own bills.

23%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said he supported house call doctors "where urgent medical attention is required", but added "experts have raised concerns that some doctors may be billing routine visits as "urgent" to a claim a higher fee".

"We want to be sure that Medicare, funded by taxpayers, is targeted appropriately," Mr O'Brien.

"Medical experts are currently assessing the rules around these services and whether there needs to be greater clarity on the guidelines governing urgent home call outs.

House Call Doctor is encouraging those in support of their services to go to protecthomevisits.com.au and show their support.

Topics:  federal government health house call doctor medicare



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