Government Stands up for Cataract Patients
The Government has stepped in to ensure that cataract patients will receive a rebate for procedures conducted from Sunday, 1 November.
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29 October 2009
Today the Government has stepped in to ensure that cataract patients will receive a rebate for procedures conducted from this Sunday, 1 November.
This was necessary following the Liberal’s Senate blunder that would have left patients with a zero rebate as of Sunday.
A new regulation will be issued to ensure a rebate is payable for cataract surgery from Sunday. This will set the new fee for the most common cataract procedures, which typically take 15-20 minutes, at $454.35, with complex procedures to receive $900.75.
These fees are fair and reasonable payment for these now commonplace procedures.
This action means patients will not be left in the lurch and ophthalmologists will continue to receive significant payments for cataract procedures.
The Government sought to adjust cataract fees because improvements in technology had made cataract procedures quicker and less expensive.
The Government strongly believes patients and taxpayers should share the benefits of these improvements.
Even after these adjustments ophthalmologists will continue to receive on average half a million dollars per annum from Medicare alone, with the top ten percent earning more than $1.5 million. That is far more than many of their patients hope to earn in a lifetime, let alone a year.
Media inquiries – please contact the Minister's office on 02 6277 7220
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