There are concerning misleading claims that the Government plans to remove Medicare rebates for afterhours GP services.

 

There is no plan to remove GP afterhours services from Medicare.

 

The Turnbull Government fully understands the need for all Australians to have access to Medicare services when they require them.

 

The Government has initiated a review of all 5700 Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items, led by the MBS Review Taskforce. The review is aimed at ensuring that Medicare reflects contemporary medical practice and that services supported by Medicare are appropriate and necessary.

 

This is a review being undertaken by medical experts independent of Government and has support from all sides of politics. The review seeks to ensure that every Medicare item is current and reflects the best model of care. Parts of the Medicare schedule have not been reviewed for decades.

 

This wide ranging review does include an assessment of the existing afterhours GP Medicare items. This review of afterhours services is part of the broader review, and again, Luke can confirm there is no plan to remove GP afterhours services from Medicare. The review is assessing concerns that some afterhours GP Medicare Items are being claimed inappropriately. No recommendations regarding these afterhours GP services have yet been made to the Government by the MBS Review Taskforce.

 

The Turnbull Government has a proud record on health. We have delivered record funding, and record high bulk billing rates. The Medicare schedule review is being undertaken by relevant medical experts. The aim is not to restrict or limit services. The aim is to ensure that the over $20 billion the Government spends each year on Medicare services supports efficient and effective services for all Australians.