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Pensioners still "lose out" on safety net

Pensioners still
Photo: Pensioners still "lose out" on safety net
The government says pensioners and other concession card holders won't have to make more than 10 co-payments but figures say they only visit eight times.

Pensioners and other concession card holders may not benefit from a capped number of GP co-payments spruiked by the federal government on its proposed budget measure.

The government has argued it would cap the number of $7 co-payments for concession card holders and children to 10.

But figures from The Department of Health reveal the average number of visits for GP, imaging and pathology services by concession card holders was eight, falling short of the safety net, The Australian reports.

It's also likely to leave patients $56 worse off.

The government is aiming for a $7 co-payment to start from July next year, saving the budget around $3.5 billion over the next four years.

Health Minister Peter Dutton will meet billionaire MP Clive Palmer in Queensland on Thursday to discuss the Palmer United Party's concerns about the co-payment's inequity.

The minister says the government wants to protect people who are most vulnerable but at the same time ensure the budget can sustain the growing demand on the health system.

Mr Palmer says he has concerns about the impact of the co-payment on pensioners and whether the government could remove negotiated exemptions down the track.

Copyright 2014 AAP.

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