Hornsby residents will benefit from better access to government services when the Department of Human Services brings Medicare and Centrelink services together to form a new one-stop shop.
Staff offering Medicare services from the service centre within Westfield Hornsby and Centrelink services from the service centre at 117-119 Pacific Highway, will move nearby to a brand new, purpose-designed Hornsby Service Centre on Pacific Highway from Monday 19 September 2016.
Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said over 200 communities around Australia now have access to the Department’s one-stop shops.
“Bringing Medicare and Centrelink services together under one roof allows residents to do more of their government business from the one place without having to travel,” Mr Jongen said.
“Introducing this one-stop shop to Hornsby also reflects changes in the way customers are choosing to claim their Medicare rebate.
“There has been a significant decrease in the number of people visiting our service centres thanks to the introduction of a range of alternative claiming options, and the demand for Medicare services at the service centre within the Westfield shopping centre has dropped by nearly 70 per cent.
“This is largely due to the move away from cash rebates for Medicare services in 2012, and the growing number of people choosing to claim their rebate electronically at the doctor’s surgery.
“The drop in customers coming into our service centres, combined with the end of our leases at both sites has contributed to the decision to consolidate our services into the brand new Hornsby Service Centre on the Pacific Highway.”
Nationally, more than 96 per cent of all Medicare claims are lodged electronically, with most submitted at the point of service. Mr Jongen encouraged Hornsby residents to take advantage of claiming their rebate items straight from the surgery to save a trip into the service centre.
“Claiming your Medicare rebate directly at the point of service is the best way, and if your doctor doesn’t offer this service, you should ask them why,” Mr Jongen said.
“I also encourage local residents to check out the range of digital services available through myGov and the Department of Human Services Express Plus mobile apps.
“These options enable people to do their routine government business where and when it suits them, and staff can show customers how to sign up for and use a myGov account or the mobile apps so they can claim most of their Medicare rebates from home.
“Staff at the new Hornsby One-stop Shop will continue to provide face-to-face services to people who require more intensive or personalised support.”
The new Hornsby Service Centre is located at 135-137 Pacific Highway and will be Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm.