Commemorative editions of Medicare cards will be rolled out to mark 40 years of the health service.
The special edition of the cards will be made available from February 1, marking the date the service began in 1984.
People who get a new or replacement card between February 1 and December 31 will automatically be sent the commemorative version.
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Like standard Medicare cards, the commemorative ones will be valid for five years.
Health Minister Mark Butler said the newly-designed cards will join the 15 million other standard Medicare cards in circulation that provide free or subsided healthcare for Australians.
“The celebration acknowledged Medicare is the foundation of our health system, ensuring all Australians have equitable access to health care when they need it, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay,” he said.
The 40th anniversary Medicare cards will be issued from February 1 to December 31 this year. Credit: Services Australia
“Medicare belongs to all Australians and the anniversary activities will happen in partnership with the communities and the health professionals where services are delivered.”
Medicare began operations on February 1, 1984, during the era of the Hawke government, under a similar health care system to the original Medibank scheme set up by then prime minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.