Cessation of MBS rural loading codes

13 May 2022

Previously, rural patients could seek rapid specialist medical care via telehealth, thanks to the Medical Benefits Scheme rural loading numbers.

They would be seen in the same priority as a metropolitan patient, without having to wait long periods.

The federal government’s changes to the MBS at the start of this year have compromised a large population by stripping away the means to rapid specialist access.

This decision to defund has rendered thousands of vulnerable Australians (including patients in rural/regional Australia, aged care residents, and Indigenous communities) unable to afford specialist telehealth.

This is contrary to the federal government's narrative of investing in permanent telehealth for all Australians, especially the ones in rural/regional landmass, individuals with accessibility issues, cancer patients, and the chronically ill.

Patients in underprivileged communities have a hard time making ends meet, let alone travelling long distances and taking days off work.

They are simply unable to afford specialist care without government support. They then either choose to not see a specialist at all, or wait long periods to see a doctor in public hospitals.

A delay in disease treatment means poorer health outcomes, higher disease burden, and overall pressure on the Australian healthcare system.

We recommend the reinstatement of these rural loading numbers.

We need to bring better healthcare to underserved Australians, not strip it away from them.

Telecare has been on the forefoot of resistance to this change.

Earlier this year, we filed a petition for the reversal on, and are proactively sharing it on multiple platforms to acquire more signatures.

So far, we have successfully gathered 37,000+ signatures, and dozens of supportive comments.

To show your support, please sign and share:

Together, we can make a change.