John Turner’s letter, ‘Health care is already there’, (Sentinel-Times, July 15), outlines the considerable costs associated with setup and operation of a private health practice.
He confirms how difficult, almost impossible without financial assistance, it would be for a Nurse Practitioner to do so.
The income of a NP is very much tightly bound, by the very low Medicare rebate for NP services.
In most instances, the Medicare rebate paid to a Medical Practitioner is three or four times higher for the same service.
This inequity is inexplicable. No one could argue that an MP will provide a superior service for providing a script repeat, for an x-ray referral, for administering a flu shot, for taking a blood test and so on.
The bulk of Mr Turner’s letter seeks to explain the Wonthaggi Medical Group plans to expand its health services in Grantville.
The Waterline communities’ campaign to reinstate an NP service is not a response to a perceived lack of health services.
Mr Turner seems to misinterpret Barry Stewart’s remark, that he (Barry) had not seen a “regular doctor” in two years (Sentinel-Times, July 8), to be a complaint about an absence of MP services in the area.
It was actually a celebration that the Nurse Practitioner service had so comprehensively met all his medical needs of the past two years.
The service provided by the NP clinic and from Ms Deb Garvey herself, so delighted clients from these communities, they will do everything they can to ensure it continues.
The bond of trust and respect that has developed between the two, ensures this would be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
These hundreds of clients want the NP and specifically Ms Garvey to remain, in preference to “regular” medical practitioner services.
Indeed anyone with a social conscience should consider using the services of an NP rather than an MP, wherever possible.
The practice of bulk billing hides the difference in rebates paid to NPs v GPs, for the same service.
Most clients would be astonished to know the full extent of the inequity. A rebate for a specific MP service might be $38 to $40 for an MP. For an NP, the rebate for the same service might only be $12 to $14.
The burden on the taxpayer for the cost of public health care in this country would be considerably lightened with greater use of NP services, even with a more equable NP rebate.
In this light, the small rental subsidy requested to establish and operate the NP service from Grantville, pales by comparison, with the actual savings to the Federal Government occasioned by services performed by the NP.
Mr Turner is concerned that granting a rental concession would set a precedent.
Other medical services could expect the same. That may be. However as with the NP service, they would need to have evidence of a capped low income, a petition with hundreds of prospective client signatures and evidence of a “trial” period where the value (monetary and social), to the local community and the taxpayer, are clearly demonstrated.
I have to say that another such practitioner should be welcomed with open arms.
Lyn Whitlam, Glen Forbes.
Not what it is about