Media release

AMA calls for proper indexation of Medicare patient rebates


AMA Family Doctor Week 15-21 July 2013

The indexation of Medicare rebates have not kept pace with the rising costs of providing care, pushing more of the health care cost onto doctors and their patients, the AMA has warned in a video released today.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that proper and realistic indexation of Medicare rebates was urgently needed.

“Years of inadequate Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) indexation, along with the recent freeze on MBS indexation, means the Government is simply shifting costs to patients.

“Families will have to pay more each time they visit their family doctor,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The value of the Medicare rebate is dropping, making it harder for doctors to provide care and essentially hitting the hip pocket of patients.

Dr Hambleton said because Government indexation does not take proper account of the increases in inflation and average weekly earnings, MBS fees have been devalued by 40 per cent since 1986.

“This inadequate indexation over the life of Medicare has resulted in patient out-of-pocket gap payments increasing by 11.7 per cent per annum,” Dr Hambleton said.

“This puts pressure on doctors, practices and patients.”

Watch and share the video Family Doctors - your medical home at

AMA Family Doctor Week is sponsored by Australian General Practice Training.

16 July 2013

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