THE State Government has reintroduced a policy to provide free health care to asylum seekers who are ineligible for Medicare.
Health Minister Cameron Dick has reinstated a 2006 policy that was discontinued under the Newman government’s hospital and health services reforms after the Liberal National Party took power in 2012.
“Service providers have reported instances where asylum seekers are avoiding health services because they fear getting a bill and not being able to pay,” Mr Dick said.
“Estimates put it at a few hundred people, so the costs of providing them with access to care are quite modest compared with the health, social and community benefits to be gained.”
Public hospitals will continue to bill other people who are Medicare ineligible, as most have travel insurance or overseas student health cover, he added.