The rebate freeze is not about GP pay, it’s about sustainability of primary care and the rebates consumers will get back
When I tweeted about the Medicare freeze last week, someone replied and asked “Care to explain other than meaning you get less money?”
I thought it was a really good question as it highlights the complexity of the issue. Most people seem to think that it’s all about doctors’ income – but it isn’t. The Medicare rebate is also about the money patients get back from Medicare.
As we speak, around Australia GP practices are adjusting their fees as a result of the government policy. Our practice increased the fee of a basic consultation with five dollars for people without a concession card. Other practices have decided to charge a once-off $30 payment to previously bulkbilled patients.
I expect that if the freeze is not lifted these amounts will have to go up again soon.
Everything gets more expensive over the years, including the cost of running a medical practice – think…
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