South Australia’s Public Advocate thinks a GP visits co-payment announced in the federal budget will have a severe impact on the health of those with mental illness.bigstock_Health_Care_Costs_Australia_1437511

John Brayley says a $7 co-payment could discourage people from going to a doctor and is dangerous for both physical and mental health.

“We’ve seen surveys in northern Adelaide looking at the high rate of metabolic syndrome amongst people with significant mental illness, that’s high blood pressure, high glucose, abdominal obesity, problems with cholesterol,” he said.

“People need regular check-ups.

“Research indicates that in the three months before people take their lives … 77 per cent of people have seen their general practitioner. Now it might have been for a physical or other reason but the big aim is trying to use those visits to prevent the loss of life.”

This article first appeared on ‘ABC’ on 26 May 2014.


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