Hockey rejects Peter Costello's advice to drop GP co-payment

TREASURER Joe Hockey has rejected a call from the last Liberal to hold his job to drop the $7 GP co-payment.

Mr Hockey on ABC on Monday rejected former Treasurer Peter Costello's advice to drop the co-payment, as it faces hefty opposition in the Senate.

But the Treasurer said it was "not good advice" as the co-payment was a price signal and part of the Abbott government's overall economic strategy.

He said the GP co-payment, despite the vocal opposition from the general community and medical fraternity, was not dead.

Mr Hockey said the cost of providing Medicare and the rest of the health system was rising about 7% every year and was unsustainable.

But the majority of the co-payment, Health Minister Peter Dutton last week reiterated, was not actually going towards paying for Medicare.

Only $2 will go to GPs to help cover their own costs, while the other $5 will be used to build up a $20 billion medical research fund, a proposal widely criticised by the primary health care sector.

Topics:  budget gp co-payment joe hockey peter costello

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