Medicare services move together as demand drops

A substantial drop in customer demand is behind a change to Medicare service arrangements in Melbourne’s CBD.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said all staff formerly located at the City East Service Centre moved to deliver services alongside their colleagues in the Galleria Shopping Plaza yesterday, Monday 7 September.

“Fewer than half the number of people who visited these 2 service centres 3 years ago are now coming in to be served,” Mr Jongen said.

“With such a significant reduction in demand, this was the right time to move staff from the City East Service Centre on Exhibition Road, 800 metres up the road to Galleria.

“Galleria offers a convenient location, situated among other shops and services, and close to ample public transport and parking options.

“This change also offers better value to taxpayers, as it no longer makes sense for the department to maintain two properties that are so close together.”

Mr Jongen said the decline in customer foot traffic was due to 2 factors.

“In 2012, there was a move away from cash rebates at Medicare Service Centres, and in that time there have also been increasing numbers of doctors offering electronic claiming at their surgery.

“Claiming at the doctor’s surgery is really the quickest and most convenient way to claim.

“While people are always welcome to visit us face-to-face, I’d encourage those who are able to claim routine items at the doctor’s to do so.”

The Galleria Service Centre is located on the ground floor of the Galleria Shopping Plaza at 385 Bourke Street, and is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.