Primary care essential to Advance Australia Fair

Politics is bad medicine when it comes to taxpayer health and Medicare ought to be ringfenced from partisan brinksmanship by an Independent Medicare Authority, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President Dr Bastian Seidel told the National Press Club on Monday. In an impassioned defence of primary care, Dr Seidel said the Medicare Authority would entrench the current MBS review in perpetuity and allow for … Continue reading Primary care essential to Advance Australia Fair

Pressure grows for ‘visionary reform’

A push is under way within the AMA for Medicare reform to reward GPs for continuity of care and wind back the current “perverse incentives” in general practice. The Medical Republic understands the proposal has been the subject of substantial discussion among AMA members after being floated at the peak body’s national conference in May. Putting a draft motion to the conference floor, NSW delegate Dr … Continue reading Pressure grows for ‘visionary reform’

Doctors see patients more often to make up for the four-year freeze in Medicare rebates

Medicare rebates for a GP visit have increased for the first time in four years but the 55 cent rise goes nowhere near covering the $38 gap fees now paid by one in three patients. And a News Corp investigation has found the rebate freeze, which was designed to save the government $2.8 billion over six years, may have backfired with doctors making up lost … Continue reading Doctors see patients more often to make up for the four-year freeze in Medicare rebates

Are some patients too ‘complicated’ for a bulk billing GP?

For bulk billing general practitioners, seeing patients with complex needs is leaving them worse off due to stagnating Medicare rebates. As a result, patients with complex mental health issues, along with children are reportedly being turned away from bulk billing GPs. RN Drive speaks with Dr Bastien Seibel, President of the Royal Australian College of Practitioners. Continue reading Are some patients too ‘complicated’ for a bulk billing GP?

GPs at bulk billing clinics feeling the pressure to spend ‘just 10 minutes’ with patients

A peak doctors group says GPs are being penalised by the Medicare system, as bulk billing clinics increasingly feel the pressure to spend just 10 minutes with patients. The story, first reported in The Age, says GPs could be turning away children with chronic health conditions and patients with mental health issues and Medicare isn’t covering the cost of longer, complex cases. President of the Royal … Continue reading GPs at bulk billing clinics feeling the pressure to spend ‘just 10 minutes’ with patients

Bulk-billing clinics ‘turning away’ complex patients

Doctor’s surgeries are reportedly turning away mental health patients and children because stagnating Medicare rebates do not cover the cost of complex consultations. Instead the system perversely encourages GPs to churn through 10 patients an hour, it has been claimed. Australians can see a doctor for free at bulk-billing clinics, but the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said it is common … Continue reading Bulk-billing clinics ‘turning away’ complex patients

Aged-care residents to gain better mental health services from budget

The federal government will send psychologists and other mental health professionals into aged-care homes across Australia under one of its budget measures, offering hope to tens of thousands of residents with psychiatric disorders who are now denied effective therapies. The Coalition’s announcement of $82.5 million over four years will target the widespread neglect of aged-care residents’ mental health, which was exposed by a Fairfax Media investigation … Continue reading Aged-care residents to gain better mental health services from budget

Medicare rebates slashed by $7 if GPs refuse to train up

MEDICARE rebates for GP visits could be slashed by 20 per cent for some patients if their doctor refuses to undertake extra training. The measure announced in the federal Budget is designed to improve the qualifications of around 3000 practising GPs who have not undertaken a three-year specialist GP training program. The vocational registration training is offered by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners … Continue reading Medicare rebates slashed by $7 if GPs refuse to train up

Medicare is keeping health care locked in the past by failing to rebate electronic GP consultations

FED up patients are demanding doctors get tech savvy and notify them via SMS when they are running late. In return, general practitioners are demanding a new Medicare rebate be made available to cover electronic consultations as a new survey shows patients are complaining their GPs are behind the times. Doctors have asked the government’s Medicare review to bring the system into the 21st century … Continue reading Medicare is keeping health care locked in the past by failing to rebate electronic GP consultations

What’s up Doc? Try these tricks to save money on medical services

VISITING a doctor can be painfully expensive for people who don’t consider strategies that save money without compromising their health care. Medical services costs in Australia have climbed three times faster than overall inflation — up 84 per cent in the past decade, according to Bureau of Statistics data. A report released this month by the Consumers Health Forum says one in five Australians don’t … Continue reading What’s up Doc? Try these tricks to save money on medical services