RACGP backs calls to fund CHF’s Understanding Medicare – Understanding your health campaign

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has thrown its support behind the Consumer Health Forum of Australia’s (CHF) calls for the Australian Government to fund public education that fully explains the Medicare system to the public.  

The Understanding Medicare – Understanding your health campaign, which is part of CHF's 2024-25 Budget submission, would give consumers the health literacy tools to help them save money, navigate the health system and improve their health. 

“When we talk to Australian health consumers about Medicare, they tell us about how much they like their little green card and the certainty it gives them knowing that if they get sick, they can get the help they need. 

“However, we know the rising cost-of-living is adding significant pressure on Australians to keep up with their healthcare costs. Add to that a complex health system to navigate — many people don’t understand everything that Medicare entitles them to. 

“What we are trying to do is help educate the community on what they can do with the current Medicare system to help them better afford their health care. For example, most people don’t know that under Medicare they can get many pathology or radiology services bulk-billed or that Medicare funds many hospital services,” said CHF CEO Dr Elizabeth Deveny. 

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said public education on Medicare could help people navigate the health system better and improve their health.  

“If people had a better understanding of Medicare and health literacy, they would be better equipped to navigate the system and improve their health. Many Australians simply don’t understand Medicare.  

“Like everything else, healthcare is becoming more expensive. With other cost of living pressures, it’s more important than ever that Australians have a sound understanding of Medicare, so they can manage their health and stay well,” said Dr Higgins. 

CHF believes it is vitally important for Australian consumers to be given the opportunity to understand their own health and what they can do to improve it. For this to happen, health literacy tools and information must be developed and provided to our diverse community. Preventative health approaches, such as increasing health literacy, helps improve a community's overall health and helps lower presentations for non-urgent medical care.  

CHF’s Federal Budget Submission outlines 18 recommendations that provide government measures to address accessibility, affordability and safety in the healthcare system while helping consumers be greater advocates and engaged with their health. 

A copy of CHF’s full budget submission can be found here. 


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