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Australians Skip GP Visits Due To Cost-Of Living

More than 1.2 million people have delayed medical appointments or prescription refills because of their cost as the Reserve Bank’s inflation rate keeps adding pressure on households.

The growing pressure of the cost of living crisis has brought a political debate, as Treasurer Jim Chalmers accused the opposition leader of lying about the country’s economy.

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The official cash rate was lifted by the Reserve Bank earlier this month, sitting at a 12-year high of 4.35 per cent to bring down the inflation, with experts predicting the rate won’t return till 2025.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the figure of people who needed to see a GP but either delayed or did not see their doctor due to cost of living pressure had doubled in the past year.

GPs also reported that the average fee for a standard visit had increased from $64 last year to $75 this year.

For individuals who skipped medication purchases, the number has jumped from 5.6 per cent to 7.6 per cent in 12 months, breaking the new record since 2015-2016.

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Report finds young people are the most likely group to forfeit healthcare due to the financial pressure. While 10 per cent of individuals aged between 25 to 34 years old were forced to delay or cancel a doctor’s appointment they needed.

Peter Dutton said the government had made decisions over two budgets that had forced the Reserve Bank to drive up interest rates.

“The government’s energy policy continues to drive up inflation, which means you’re paying more for your mortgage because it’s not just you in your family household or your small business paying more for your electricity or paying more for your groceries – it’s everybody else in the supply chain.”

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