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 Australian College of General Practitioners Dr Sebastian Beidel told 3AW Breakfast changing the system would reduce pressure on GPs.
“Patients want to spend more time with the GPs and that’s what GPs want as well,” he said.
“We need a Medicare system that allows us to do it and shouldn’t penalise us if we want to spend more time with our patients.
“Some doctors are saying well we don’t see children with chronic medical problems or we don’t see people who have mental health conditions, because it just takes longer.”