GP levy expected to hurt people in need of regular treatment

BALLARAT parents Karli and Steven Fletcher believe the federal government’s GP levy is unfair, especially for their family. 

The Fletcher family will now have to dig deeper to cover their daughter’s medical costs. 

Two-year-old Poppi was born with the genetic disorder Noonan Syndrome.

The condition has left Poppi with hearing loss, low muscle tone and chronic ear infections. 

“We would visit a doctor more than 10 times a year,” Mrs Fletcher said. 

“She sees a paediatrician as well. But because we have to pay for our GP visits, we have to worry about how to make that money.”

Federal treasurer Joe Hockey on Tuesday revealed from July 1 next year, previously bulk-billed GP visits, blood tests and X-rays would cost $7 per visit. 

That comes on top of patients paying $5 more for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed prescription drugs from January 1, 2015.

“It leaves us more out of pocket, we did not choose this (lifestyle) for our daughter,” Mrs Fletcher said. 

The family also make frequent trips to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for specialist appointments and have to cover the cost of fuel, that is also set to increase. 

“It does worry us, we are classed as a low income earning family. I can’t work full time because of my daughters condition,” she said. 

“We have to make sure we have money for our son Max as well.” 


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