Medicare Service Centre win for South Coast
Posted February 01, 2019
Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has successfully advocated for a Medicare Customer Service Centre to be located within the Centrelink office in Victor Harbor.
Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan made the announcement this afternoon, saying the Victor Harbor/Goolwa urban area was one of South Australia’s fastest growing regions and was particularly popular with retirees who were major users of Medicare services.
Minister Keenan acknowledged the advocacy of the Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie who worked with the Government to deliver the increased Medicare presence in her electorate.
From January 31, a dedicated Medicare customer service officer will be available at the Victor Harbor Centrelink office to assist residents with all of their Medicare needs, including claims and rebates, or updating bank account details and other personal information.
Rebekha said the new Medicare Customer Service Centre would make life easier for everyone living on the South Coast.
“The Victor Harbor/Goolwa region is home to more than 25,000 people and is one of the fastest growing urban areas in South Australia so the population warrants the services of a major urban centre,” Rebekha said.
“However, it is also the oldest area in the State and I have advocated for this service because I believe our community needs special consideration.
“The median age in this region is 58 years compared with the state average of 40 years and the national median age of 38 years, and far fewer people have access to the internet than the rest of the nation.
“The more senior residents in my community tell me they need face-to-face service with government agencies, particularly when they are going through difficult life changes such as the death of a partner or a partner moving into an aged care facility.
“In the past, they have had to travel or arrange for someone to take them to the nearest Medicare centre in Adelaide, some 60km away.
“Having a Medicare Centre in Victor Harbor will make this high demand health service more accessible to our senior residents and make life easier for people of all ages living on the South Coast.
“It means the lodging of claims or updating of details will no longer be an arduous long trip for residents.”
The new Medicare Customer Service Centre and Victor Harbor Centrelink office is located at 90 Victoria Street, Victor Harbor, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
In his media announcement, Minister Keenan said: "The reality is that 98 per cent of Medicare claims are now dealt with automatically at the doctor’s surgery and rebates are normally deposited into a customer’s bank account within 48 hours. But there will always be those who require additional support, especially older Australians like those living in the Victor Harbor and Goolwa region whose interactions with the health system can be more complicated.”
Caption: Copy of the letter sent to Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie from the Prime Minister in December 2018.