BREAKING NEWS: Changes to Level B consultations scrapped
In a win for common sense, the Government has announced it will not proceed with the ten minute threshold for Level B MBS consultation items.
The change was due to commence on Monday 19 January and would have seen the loss of $1.3b in MBS funding for GP services.
As a result of the Government’s change of heart, the existing Level A and B MBS consultation item structure will remain in place.
The AMA had placed the Government under significant public pressure over its plan with the President raising our concerns with politicians across the political spectrum, including with the new Health Minister and Prime Minister.
In a welcome change of approach the Health Minister, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, has has spoken with AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, and committed to taking a more collaborative approach to the development of GP policy, in the context of the future sustainability of Medicare.
While the AMA is very pleased with this decision, which is a big win for GPs and patients, our concerns with other planned cuts to funding for MBS services remain. The Government has not yet backed away from its proposal for a $5 rebate cut for most GP services from July 1 or its planned freeze on MBS indexation until 2018.
With this in mind, the AMA will still proceed with previously announced GP forums in Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, the ACT, Queensland and Western Australia. These forums remain a critical part of the AMA’s campaign to support General Practice and are an important opportunity for GPs to inform AMA feedback to the Government’s consultation process.
Details of these forum are at www.ama.com.au/gprally
The AMA remains committed to working collaboratively with Government to development sustainable GP financing policy.
For more on how the AMA supported GPs and helped bring this change about see below:
- Time for Prime Minister to abandon rebate cut
- Government rebate cut undermines quality care
- Doorstop 8 January 2015: Copayments and rebate cuts
- Medicare funding cuts: Support materials for practices