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Wanderer Returns

Is Bulk Billing dying a death?

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16 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

In my opinion drink/drug addicts should be paying something towards their treatment. 

To an extent I might agree with you but how do you define an "addict?" Imagine the coffee crops failed or a disease killed off most of the trees(?) and the price of a cup of coffee went up from $4 a cup to $40 a cup. I drink 2 cups a day i.e. $80 a day in my example, so $560 a week. I gave up smoking but I tried and failed to give up caffeine. Try it if you don't believe me - no coffee, no tea, no cocoa, no chocolate, no cola.

Or imagine that the government decided to make smoking illegal, instantly making the millions of legal users into illegal addicts and the price went up to $100 for a packet of 20. They are already expensive enough to make it common to see people picking up butts from the streets (a good public service too) and to see people "bumming" them in pubs and to see convenience stores selling them (illegally) in ones a twos.

 

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3 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

To an extent I might agree with you but how do you define an "addict?" Imagine the coffee crops failed or a disease killed off most of the trees(?) and the price of a cup of coffee went up from $4 a cup to $40 a cup. I drink 2 cups a day i.e. $80 a day in my example, so $560 a week. I gave up smoking but I tried and failed to give up caffeine. Try it if you don't believe me - no coffee, no tea, no cocoa, no chocolate, no cola.

Or imagine that the government decided to make smoking illegal, instantly making the millions of legal users into illegal addicts and the price went up to $100 for a packet of 20. They are already expensive enough to make it common to see people picking up butts from the streets (a good public service too) and to see people "bumming" them in pubs and to see convenience stores selling them (illegally) in ones a twos.

And miss out on all that lovely tax?? The primary reason cited for giving up smoking is cost, so at $100/packet you'd find most people would just give up. The price of alcohol and tobacco is finely tuned so that it's neither so cheap that we'd all end up as heavy users and put a huge burden on the health system, nor too expensive that the majority of us will give it up completely.

It's cynical, I know.

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5 hours ago, Wanderer Returns said:

And miss out on all that lovely tax?? The primary reason cited for giving up smoking is cost, so at $100/packet you'd find most people would just give up. The price of alcohol and tobacco is finely tuned so that it's neither so cheap that we'd all end up as heavy users and put a huge burden on the health system, nor too expensive that the majority of us will give it up completely.

It's cynical, I know.

Would "most people" be able to "just give up" though? You are right about the price of beer and fags being kept at a price neither too low nor too high.
"

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8 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

To an extent I might agree with you but how do you define an "addict?" Imagine the coffee crops failed or a disease killed off most of the trees(?) and the price of a cup of coffee went up from $4 a cup to $40 a cup. I drink 2 cups a day i.e. $80 a day in my example, so $560 a week. I gave up smoking but I tried and failed to give up caffeine. Try it if you don't believe me - no coffee, no tea, no cocoa, no chocolate, no cola.

Or imagine that the government decided to make smoking illegal, instantly making the millions of legal users into illegal addicts and the price went up to $100 for a packet of 20. They are already expensive enough to make it common to see people picking up butts from the streets (a good public service too) and to see people "bumming" them in pubs and to see convenience stores selling them (illegally) in ones a twos.

 

If coffee was $10 a cup I would quit tomorrow.

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4 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

If coffee was $10 a cup I would quit tomorrow.

Easy to say! Try it for a couple of days. No coffee, no tea, no Cola, no cocoa, no chocolate. If you want a hot drink - herbal teas. Maybe you can do it  but caffeine is a drug just like nicotine, not as dangerous, but certainly addictive.

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4 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Easy to say! Try it for a couple of days. No coffee, no tea, no Cola, no cocoa, no chocolate. If you want a hot drink - herbal teas. Maybe you can do it  but caffeine is a drug just like nicotine, not as dangerous, but certainly addictive.

A while ago I wasn't feeling very well for a day or two.  Some sort of virus I suppose.  It wasn't debilitating or anything like that - just felt off colour.  Ever since then I've gone right off tea, coffee, wine and I've lost my sweet tooth too.  I used to look forward to a slice of cake or a chocolate biscuit with a cuppa but not anymore.  Probably a good thing.  😉

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1 hour ago, Toots said:

A while ago I wasn't feeling very well for a day or two.  Some sort of virus I suppose.  It wasn't debilitating or anything like that - just felt off colour.  Ever since then I've gone right off tea, coffee, wine and I've lost my sweet tooth too.  I used to look forward to a slice of cake or a chocolate biscuit with a cuppa but not anymore.  Probably a good thing.  😉

My brother has lost SO much weight this year by cutting out almost every ounce of carbs and sugar and alcohol from his diet. He used to hoe through the booze too, then do the same thing after the pub with bags of lollies, biscuits and chocolate.

By contrast I am ashamed each time I catch sight of myself in the mirror to the extent that i turn the lights off I am taking my shirt off in there. I don't do much in the way of lollies (I must be an Aussie now I'm not calling them "sweets?"), or cakes, buns, choc, etc, other than 90 percent cocoa dark chocolate.  Nor do over eat but probably drinking too much. I do a reasonable amount of walking too.

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8 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Easy to say! Try it for a couple of days. No coffee, no tea, no Cola, no cocoa, no chocolate. If you want a hot drink - herbal teas. Maybe you can do it  but caffeine is a drug just like nicotine, not as dangerous, but certainly addictive.

I have a couple of cups of coffee per day, not that bothered about tea, don't drink coke or cocoa. I drink a lot of water, we have a plumbed in fridge with ice and chilled filtered water. Been one of our best buys. The kids have grown up just drinking water and neither of them like coke or fizzy drinks.

I could survive on water and juice easily. 

As long as beer doesn't skyrocket, that would be terrible.😁

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11 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Easy to say! Try it for a couple of days. No coffee, no tea, no Cola, no cocoa, no chocolate. If you want a hot drink - herbal teas. Maybe you can do it  but caffeine is a drug just like nicotine, not as dangerous, but certainly addictive.

.....and yet there’s good evidence that a couple of strong cups of coffee a day reduces your risk of Parkinson’s, gallstones and a few other ailments. Everything in moderation, I say 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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On 21/12/2020 at 04:03, MARYROSE02 said:

Easy to say! Try it for a couple of days. No coffee, no tea, no Cola, no cocoa, no chocolate. If you want a hot drink - herbal teas. Maybe you can do it  but caffeine is a drug just like nicotine, not as dangerous, but certainly addictive.

I think you may stumbled on a way to shore up the damage that Covid has done to the budget - a caffeine tax! 

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Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia)

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10 hours ago, Ken said:

I think you may stumbled on a way to shore up the damage that Covid has done to the budget - a caffeine tax! 

Well, like any "drug"  I guess it is subject to supply and demand, and its legality or otherwise. Prohibition made alcohol an illegal drug in the USA. To a lesser extent, strict control over opening hours did the same thing here, hence "sly grog shops." I can't imagine what it was like after 6 pm when we had 6 pm closing? Blokes finishing work at 5 pm say, with an hour of legal drinking.

So, put the same kind of tax as on booze and fags on coffee?

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When I first moved to Australia pretty much everywhere offered it. Now I am finding hardly anyone does. I have also found that places that do offer it, are lesser (not as good) as places that don't.

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Posted (edited)

Where we live north of Brisbane lots of new doctors' surgeries are opening that offer bulk billing.  They are generally staffed by foreign trained doctors who are just as good and caring. 

My husband has followed his Bangladeshi trained GP through three changes of surgery because he is just such a fantastic GP.  My husband has been seeing hospital specialists for three different chronic conditions for a number of years and they prescribe medications that conflict and could exacerbate my husband's conditions but refuse to talk to each other.  The GP has therefore had to make the decisions as to what my husband should do and has done a wonderful job. 

The bulk billing surgery I attend has only been open a year or so and started out with all UK doctors but now has GPs from Iran, NZ and Romania.  I love going there because they don't send you for loads of random (and expensive, non PBS) tests (just in case) but instead use their clinical judgement.  I also am much better off not having to pay $65 out of pocket (yes - $100 to see a GP in Brisbane CBD!) every visit.

Edited by Loopylu
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On 01/01/2021 at 13:44, FatCat said:

When I first moved to Australia pretty much everywhere offered it. Now I am finding hardly anyone does. I have also found that places that do offer it, are lesser (not as good) as places that don't.

I think it varies a lot from state to state.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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On 02/01/2021 at 13:50, Marisawright said:

I think it varies a lot from state to state.

 

I am sure it does

I have only ever lived in QLD, NT, VIC and NSW, so of course cannot speak for anywhere else

But in my experience, I have found over time, less and less places now offer it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FatCat said:

 

I am sure it does

I have only ever lived in QLD, NT, VIC and NSW, so of course cannot speak for anywhere else

But in my experience, I have found over time, less and less places now offer it.

 

 

Given that the Medicare rebates are not going up at the same rate as costs then it would make sense that less places are offering bulk billing as less places will be able to afford to do so.

Edited by NicF
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Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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