Changes to fees in 2023
The state and federal governments have been limited in their support for primary care (GP services) especially for clinics like ours that are dedicated to the care of vulnerable populations. We support the current Medicare reforms and whilst this is improving our ability to provide services, we still have a long way to go.
We are unable to remain viable if the current situation continues. During 2022 we have had a series of 5 focus groups with the Karen and Karenni communities who make up the majority of our clients and with their input and the input of all our staff we have decided to make some changes in 2023.
See below for further details
From the 1st of January 2023, the following changes will apply:
One consultation a year will attract a private fee. The fee will vary on the type of consultation. In general, our patients will be out of pocket by approximately $80 for one consultation per year. Most people will be exempt from further charges during the year, however some charges may be incurred at the discretion of the clinic manager.
We will make an exception for the following groups:
Children under the age of 18
Adults with evidence of an intellectual disability
Asylum seekers who are not eligible for Medicare
Those who are new arrivals within the past 12 months from date of consultation
Specialist consultations will be exempt - the charge applies only to GP consultations
Our bicultural workers and staff will assist you with the practicalities of payment.
Thank you for those who participated in the focus groups and for your continued understanding. These changes will enable Utopia to continue providing compassionate and quality care to our communities.