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What's happened to our support services

Dear Beagle Editor,

Recently I lodged a Medicare Claim form via the post box at the Batemans Bay Centrelink complex.

After 4 weeks the rebate had not been paid.

Over the next days I rang the Medicare 1300 number on four occasions to be told by recording “we are too busy to take your call ring back later”. (40 cents a call!)

I then drove to Narooma Centrelink in the hope that “face to face” I could correct this situation only to be told they no longer dedicate staff to Medicare issues. Apparently the Federal Government has introduced a new batching system whereby all claims are now sent to a central site for processing. I was also told by staff that the new turnaround times are now likely to be 3 to 4 weeks except for hardship cases.

The Government has introduced an online application which runs on mobile phones allowing you, upon registration, to submit a claim form. I ask, how do people who live remotely or older people who don’t have mobile phones succeed in applying for a rebate under the current Government policies?

This level of this virtual service is deplorable!

This Federal Government has to be held to account by Australian voters for its decision to deliberately diminish practical access to Medicare clients. It also has to be held account for its appalling management of Centrelink Welfare programs.

Ray Sillett

Tuross Head


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