Gatekeeper role of GPs under scrutiny in MBS review: Australian Medicine

3 Dec 2015

This week’s issue of Australian Medicine reports that the crucial gatekeeper role played by GPs is coming under scrutiny as the Federal Government explores a possible overhaul of the operation of Medicare as part of its review of the MBS.

The article states that while much of the attention so far has been on the Review’s appraisal of more than 5700 items on the MBS, the fact that it also encompasses an examination of the over-arching rules governing the operation of Medicare is less well known. The far-reaching possibilities this entails could include fundamental changes in professional roles and responsibilities, models of remuneration, and the use of the MBS to “actively guide” clinical decision-making.

Suggestions of any dilution in the central role played by GPs in coordinating care fly in the face of the latest advice from health experts here and abroad, who have argued that, far from diminishing the position of the family doctor, governments should enhance it.

Other stories in the latest issue of Australian Medicine include: Australia’s cut-price health system ‘performs well’, according to the OECD; the bulk billing rate is continuing to climb despite the Federal Government’s four-year Medicare rebate freeze, underlining concerns about the increasing financial pressure on the nation’s GPs; health funds spend millions on unproven natural therapies; and the Government’s survey on health insurance is a smokescreen to undermine equal access.