"Government withdraws Medicare rebate for joint injections-"
Government withdraws Medicare rebate for joint injections- We need you help to keep this issue alive! On the 1 November 2009, the Government removed items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) covering joint injections and aspirations. The MBS is the list of procedures and doctors’ visits (items), each with a number and fee attached, which are reimbursable by Medicare. For joint injections and aspirations, the Item numbers were 50124 and 50125. Because of the Government’s decision to withdraw Medicare funding for joint injections, consumers are now required to meet the costs of these important pain- relieving procedures. This means an extra $23.25 out-of-pocket expense for each injection/aspiration. Arthritis Victoria is concerned that for many people with arthritis these changes may result in financial and emotional distress, particularly for those on disability or other pensions. OUR RESPONSE Arthritis Australia, on behalf of the State and Territory Arthritis Foundations, has been working with the Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) to gain a better understanding of the Government’s decision to withdraw these items. Both organisations have been meeting with key decision-makers to attempt to have the decision overturned. To date, these efforts have been not been successful. Read Arthritis Australia's response to the withdrawal of these Medicare rebates, and a detailed explanation of what this means for people with arthritis. TAKE ACTION!- Help overturn the decision At the end of 2009 we called on people to help take action against this decision by writing to the Government and their local MPs opposing the decision. We now need your help to keep this issue alive and on the Government’s agenda. We are calling on people who are affected by the removal of the rebate for joint injections to again write or email the Government explaining how the removal of these items from the MBS will personally impact them, both physically and financially. After you’ve sent your letter, you could follow-up with a phone call to your local MP to make your voice even louder! Write to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Prime Minister, the Medical Benefits Division Secretary and your local Member of Parliament (MP). An example letter has been developed to assist you if needed. Send the letter to the postal or email address supplied. If you send your letter by email we suggest that you write "Attention Minister/Prime Minister/[MP title]" in the subject field. Please place email@example.com in the cc field so that you can let us know you have written. Thank you for your help. The more people that get involved, the more powerful our collective voice will be! For further information please contact Arthritis Victoria on 03 8531 8000 or 1800 011 041 (toll free for country callers). Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org