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home / archives / 1984 /  1st February

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A different umbrella.

'Medicare' was introduced by the Hawke government facilitated by Health Minister Dr. Neal Blewett. It was a replacement for the earlier Medibank which had been set up in 1975 by Gough Whitlam's Labor Government which had distributed health insurance cards to 90% of the population at that time, but was changed by the Fraser Government in 1976, with a levy being introduced for Medibank which did not need to be paid if private insurance was taken out instead. Developments in the new scheme were methods and management of payment and rebate.

Medibank still continues as in the form of a government owned private health insurer "Medibank Private", also introduced by the Fraser Government, which provides gap and extras coverage. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is responsible for setting the private rates for a variety of medical procedures.