Medicare rebate puts preventive care to the fore

Published by The Australian Twelve months ago we saw yet another extension of the grossly unfair and nonsensical Medicare rebate freeze — this time until at least 2020. In the budget handed down last week, the federal government thankfully delivered a staggered but clear reversal of that appalling decision. GP bulk-billing incentives now will be re-indexed in line with wages and inflation from July. Patient … Continue reading Medicare rebate puts preventive care to the fore

Patients want health, not necessarily treatment

National Press Club speech Monday 20 March, 2017, published by Doctor Portal I’m very pleased and proud open the RACGP’s Canberra office here at the National Press Club today. This is an important milestone for our organisation and our members and it’s fabulous to see such a great turnout today.  Thank you all for attending and making the time in your busy schedule. The RACGP … Continue reading Patients want health, not necessarily treatment

Funding for GP visits is a guaranteed money-saver

Published by The Australian “The only way to organise and pay for health services well is to change the system every second year so nobody feels comfortable in it.”  That is the response of Brian Abel-Smith, a professor from the London School of Economics, when asked whether there were any new and significant ideas in healthcare policy. The question was asked a few decades ago, … Continue reading Funding for GP visits is a guaranteed money-saver

There is nothing wrong with grieving over your patients

Published by the Medical Observer It may not make you a better GP, but experiencing grief is part and parcel of long-term care, writes Dr Bastian Seidel I first met Patrick seven years ago. He was 81 years old then and a new patient to the practice. He made an appointment for an introductory visit and basically spent the first five minutes of the consultation … Continue reading There is nothing wrong with grieving over your patients

We could double the Medicare rebate tomorrow and it would be cost-neutral

Published by Australian Doctor We could double the Medicare rebate for GP item numbers tomorrow and it would be cost-neutral. How? Look no further than the private health insurance industry, which is doing very well in Australia. So much so, it makes net surpluses year after year with healthy profits of more than $1.5 billion, which is predicted to grow every year by about 6% … Continue reading We could double the Medicare rebate tomorrow and it would be cost-neutral

Canberra is scapegoating GPs and it needs to stop

Published by the Medical Observer It’s about time for Canberra to commit to evidence-based health policies. We’ve been hearing it over and over again: healthcare costs are out of control, but the only solutions brought forward to rein in expenditure are a Medicare rebate freeze and the introduction of a compulsory GP co-payment. Those measures are short-sighted, but even worse, they are neither evidence-based nor … Continue reading Canberra is scapegoating GPs and it needs to stop

Bulk billing numbers have been subject to political spin for too long

Published by Croakey  Hardly a week goes by without media, politicians and medical lobby groups arguing about bulk billing rates. As the about to be defunded ‘ABC Fact Check’ pointed out recently, ‘bulk billing rates’ for non referred attendances (which includes visits to a GP, but not to services in hospitals or other medical practitioners) were 85.8% this year. That represents an increase from 2007, … Continue reading Bulk billing numbers have been subject to political spin for too long