Celebrating 40 years of Medicare

Our universal health care system plays an important part in every Australian’s life.

1 February 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of Medicare – and it’s changed a lot. From paper forms and fax machines to today’s digital claims, Medicare has evolved over the years.

It’s also been 40 years since Neil Dabelstein started with Medicare.

‘I started my training in the Cannon Hill Medicare office in January 1984 while it was still being finished. The painting, carpet and signage were still being done!’ Neil said.

‘You had an extra sense of excitement and pride when the doors finally opened. I remember we all had a race to serve the first customer.’

‘I feel so proud of my time with Medicare due to the wonderful friendships we made with customers though their births of children and health struggles. They became our “friends” and would recognise you on days off and the weekend.’

Since 1984, Medicare has helped with the cost of seeing a doctor, getting medicines and accessing mental health care.

In the last financial year alone, Services Australia delivered close to 460 million claims to over 26.5 million Medicare customers.

When Neil started in 1984, customers were coming into a service centre to claim cash rebates.

Today, the quickest way to claim your Medicare benefit is at your doctor’s office straight after you pay.

You can also go online or use the Express Plus Medicare app to update your bank details, make a claim or manage who’s on your Medicare card without having to wait in line.

Neil has continued his career with Services Australia and is now a team leader at our Caboolture Service Centre.

‘I still to this day feel an immense sense of pride being part of a truly wonderful national health system.

‘I’m proud to have been here from the beginning, and of the small part I play in serving our customers,’ Neil said.

To celebrate 40 years, the Australian Government has released a new look Medicare card for 2024. Medicare cards will also be updated with the new design in your Medicare online account, Express Plus Medicare app and myGov app.

We’ve made a lot of progress over the years, but we’ll keep making improvements.

We’re here to make government services simple, so you can get on with your life.

Watch Neil reflect on his 40 year career with Medicare.

Page last updated: 19 March 2024.
QC 65679