Congress submission to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review now available

Congress has prepared a submission to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review, recommending several changes seen as key to supporting improvements in primary health care for Aboriginal people and people living in rural and remote areas.

Congress supports the Taskforce’s proposed vision for the MBS that: The MBS provides affordable universal access to best practice health services that represent value for the individual patient and the health system.

Despite the original objectives of Medicare and the MBS to support universal access to health care, there remains major inequalities in health outcomes in Australia. The most obvious inequality is the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Aboriginal people still experience a disease burden that is 2.3 times higher than non-Aboriginal people.1 

Congress views the MBS review is an opportunity to narrow the gap, and to use the MBS as a tool to improve access to quality primary health care where it is most needed. 

View a copy of Congress’ submission to the MBS here.

1. AIHW 2016. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 6. Cat. no. BOD 7. Canberra: AIHW.