More one-stop shops delivering multiple government services will be created in Melbourne throughout August, in response to changing customer needs.
Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said the changes will provide Medicare and Centrelink face-to-face services together, to accommodate the shift to digital services and reflect the trend of delivering more government services under one roof.
“All staff delivering Medicare services in Bentleigh, Elsternwick, Doncaster, Northland and Northcote will relocate into nearby locations offering Centrelink services, to increase the number of one-stop shops,” Mr Jongen said.
Mr Jongen said the changes to Medicare services in Bentleigh and Elsternwick will take effect on 3 August, when all staff and services relocate to nearby service centres in Oakleigh, Cheltenham and Windsor.
All staff and services in Northland and Northcote will relocate on 17 August, while those in Doncaster will move on 24 August, to create one-stop shops for Darebin, Heidelberg and Yarra.
“We’ve seen a significant drop in foot traffic at these locations, as people increasingly opt to claim their Medicare benefit at the doctor’s office, which makes this the right time to move the services in together,” Mr Jongen said.
“This approach to move Medicare services into one-stop shops also delivers better value to taxpayers, with demand for this type of service reducing, and when nearby service centres can comfortably accommodate all the staff to assist people who still prefer to claim face-to-face.
“The decline in foot traffic is largely due to 2 factors: the move away from cash rebates at Medicare Service Centres in 2012, and the increasing number of doctors offering electronic claiming at their surgery.
“If doctors don’t offer electronic claiming, people can still make a claim for common rebate items online through myGov, or for any rebate using the Medicare Express Plus mobile app or at nearby service centres.
“Since 2009, the Department of Human Services has created nearly 200 one-stop shops across Australia – a logical progression given a national downward trend for face-to-face Medicare services.
“More than 95% of all Medicare claims are now lodged at the point of service and at these Melbourne sites, the number of visitors has more than halved since 2012.”