How the 'new' mega merger of two of Australia's largest government services has created a massive welfare wait.
It is supposed to make our lives easier, but an A Current Affair hidden-camera investigation reveals long queues and agonising delays.
You can find more information regarding the Medicare-Centrelink merger at www.humanservices.gov.au.
A statement regarding the merger of Medicare and Centrelink in Muswellbrook:
Better access to Medicare and Centrelink in Muswellbrook
Monday, 14 July 2014
Muswellbrook residents will have the benefit of being able to do their government business in one place when Medicare moves in with Centrelink on Monday 21 July.
Service Centre Manager Phil Ray said all staff and services from the Medicare shopfront at Muswellbrook Market Place will move into the Centrelink Service Centre at 164 Bridge Street to deliver services side-by-side.
"Having Centrelink and Medicare together in a one-stop shop provides more convenience for local residents," Mr Ray said.
"People who require access to both Medicare and Centrelink services can now do their business at the same time, under the same roof.
"I can assure the community that all of the same services they are used to receiving at the Muswellbrook Market Place will continue to be available at the new one-stop shop."
Mr Ray said customers can also access self-service facilities, where they can manage their Centrelink and Medicare business online.
"Staff can show customers how to save time and use these self-service facilities, including signing up to myGov, which allows people to access their Centrelink, Medicare, Australian Taxation Office and Child Support information, and eHealth records using one login and password," Mr Ray said.
"Staff can also connect customers to the department’s Express Plus mobile apps, which allow people to do business with Centrelink and Medicare from the palm of their hand.
"For example, with the Medicare Express Plus app customers can lodge a claim for a Medicare refund straight from their mobile device, without needing to make the trip in."
More than 140 Australian communities now have access to Department of Human Services one-stop shops where Medicare and Centrelink face-to-face services are offered under one roof.
The Muswellbrook one-stop shop will be located at 164 Bridge Street and open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm.