THE $7 CO-PAYMENT
I’ve read more huffing and puffing in today’s papers about the proposed $7 co-payment for GP visits. Once again we are hearing the same usual voices crowing about the great injustice of it all: poor little Suzie won’t be able to afford to take her four children from three different dads to the doctors to receive their methodone shots thanks to Suzie’s heroin addiction; dear old Mrs Chong is going to have to euthanise her husband because she can no longer afford to include his GP visit in the weekly budget.
Well you know what? I think they’re all looking at it wrong. I believe the $7 co payment will encourage those of a lower socio-economic bracket to not contract so many treatable, avoidable illnesses in the first place. And by reducing the number of sick people, we can then alleviate the demands on our health system.
Now I won’t have it said that I’m heartless – I do believe there is always room for compromise. With that in mind, I propose that chronic GP visitors could have the option to work off their co-payment fees as part of the work for the dole program. Not only can they repay their debt to society, but he active outdoor work would no doubt cure their illnesses (both real and imagined).
Furthermore, I believe a similar tax on emergency services phone calls would also work wonders, encouraging undesirables to sort out their petty problems internally and freeing up our police and paramedics to do more important work.