Cataract benefits under threat again

The president of the Queensland branch of RANZCO, Dr Brad Horsbrough, responded by pointing out that patients are now receiving a rebate of only 40 per cent of what it was when the benefit was introduced.This is the second time in five years that cataract surgery benefits under Medicare have come under attack, the previous attack being by the then health minister, Ms Nicola Roxon, in 2009.That ended with a backdown by Ms Roxon, after The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists fought hard against any reduction, in the end settling for a 10-per-cnt reduction.Ms Roxon ended up with egg all over her face from the episode.The greatest current threat to cataract surgery benefits (and who knows what else) is the claim by the federal health minister, Mr Peter Dutton, that the health syst is “riddled with inefficiency and waste” and that he intends to eliminate same.Mr Dutton’s point of view is contrary to what a number of health experts claim is the true state of affairs.

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