Medicare Discrimination Affects Vulnerable Patients

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A Patient's Plea:

I am hoping that you will please sign this petition to help to rectify the injustice that is taking place, not only in our community, but across Australia.

Tanawha Health is a holistic health service based at Tanawha on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

We are extremely lucky to have a wonderful new doctor called Shimal Jobunputra who is working hard to improve the lives of patients in our community. Dr Shim is a highly trained health professional who cares deeply for the well being of his patients. He trained in the UK, where standards are without doubt some of the best in the world.

Unfortunately it has been decided that as Dr Shim completed his degree abroad, he is does not qualify to continue Medicare bulk billing. This is clearly discrimination and not only a terrible insult to a great doctor, but the cause of hardship to many of his patients.

Good healthcare should be available to everyone in our society and this decision will mean that from April 2020 many people will no longer be able to afford to see Dr Shim.

How is it that Dr Shim is allowed to practice in Australia, but is not allowed to bulk bill like any other doctor?

This is nothing less than racial prejudice and the Australian Human Rights Commission states:

Racial discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably, or not given the same opportunities, as others in a similar situation, because of their race, the country where they were born, their ethnic origin or their skin colour.

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his or her race, colour, descent, national origin or ethnic origin, or immigrant status.

The RDA protects people from racial discrimination in many areas of public life, including employment, education, getting or using services, renting or buying a house or unit, and accessing public places.

We, the patients will struggle with the denial of bulk billing, it discriminates against the most vulnerable and people with a lower income.

Dr Shim goes above and beyond for his patients and those of us who may have difficulty building up trust with a GP really need to be able to continue to see Dr Shim if we wish.

Medicare are trying to prevent this.

This will be particularly detrimental to the well being of patients with mental health issues.

I hope that this matter will be investigated further and this unfair decision will be reversed.

It is time to make a stand - Fairness for all!


From Dr Shimal Jobanputra MB ChB (Hons) MRCGP FRACGP   

Tanawha Health, Sunshine Coast, Qld

Today I received a letter from the Department of Health.

They advised they were writing in response to correspondence I sent to the Prime Minister on 5th February 2020 asking for support to allow us to continue bulk billing vulnerable patients.

The letter was referred to the Minister of Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP who asked his department to reply.

The reply advises that they will not be supporting you.

I am not political, to be honest I confess I have remained out of this and was unaware of the parties involved in politics, indeed I had no idea which party was in power.

This is the first time, I truly see how little they care about you.

It is time to act.

I urge everyone to contact the Prime Minister, Hon Greg Hunt MP, your local MP and the Department of Health to advise them that outside of their cosy offices, you exist.

Tell them that they may very well be able to afford private health care on their salaries, but many cannot.

You have my blessings to contact whichever media outlets you wish to and raise awareness.

I am disappointed and very distressed by the lack of compassion and indeed level of hostility those in 'power' continue to demonstrate.

We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable in our society - we must not let them down.

Today I ask each of you to act.

Let us show them the power of community �


Prime Minister

Hon Greg Hunt MP Federal Health Minister
(02) 6277 7220

Hon Dr Steven Miles QLD Health Minister
(07) 3035 6100

Department of Health
02 6289 1555 and

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights


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