Many skip treatment over costs

AUSTRALIANS with chronic health conditions are forgoing vital treatment because out-of-pocket expenses are making it too dear.

According to a joint study by James Cook University and the NSW Bureau of Health Information, almost half of those with mental illness, anxiety and depression are missing medication because of cost and 30% of asthma patients and 27% of diabetes patients are affected.

Dr Emily Callander, who led the study, said the findings were clear implications of government policy to cut bulk billing subsidies and freeze its Medicare contributions.


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