Tuesday, 9 August 2022
    Doctors 'insulted' by 65 cent rebate rise
    Health Care

    Doctors 'insulted' by 65 cent rebate rise

    GPs are warning a marginal pay rise could further accelerate the loss of doctors from rural and regional Australia, ABC News reports. 

    It meant GPs would receive an extra 65 cents for every bulkbilled 20-minute appointment.

    "GPs and doctors in general are used to being insulted by the indexation of Medicare," Dr Aniello Iannuzzi, who practised in Coonabarabran in western NSW, said.

    The increase of 1.6 per cent was well below the inflation rate of 5.1 per cent.

    The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) said GPs had experienced soaring rent, mortgage, building and medical insurance, wages and supplies costs in recent years.

    "We welcome the increase but it's nowhere near the margin that's actually going to help us see a change in the GP workforce," said RACGP rural chairman Dr Michael Clements.

    He said if the Medicare rebate had kept in line with inflation since it was introduced, the fee would be closer to $80.

    The RACGP said the rebate was creating a false economy.

    It costs the health system $39.75 for people to see a GP, compared with an estimated $500 when they present to a hospital emergency department if they couldn't get a doctors' appointment.

    "If the government is serious about reducing the cost of hospitals and emergency departments they need to enhance the funding of general practice, so that general practitioners can keep patients out of hospital," Dr Iannuzzi said.

    In a statement, federal Health Minister Mark Butler acknowledged the previous government's six-year freeze on Medicare rebates.

    "Our doctors deserve more than our thanks," Mr Butler said.

    "The Albanese government is committed to strengthening Medicare and making it easier for Australians to see a GP.


    Doctors' meagre 65 cent rise in Medicare consultation rebate 'insulting' (ABC News)