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Over-servicing - PAC report

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Media ReleaseJAMES PORTER. Federal Shadow M inister for Health OVER-SERVICING - PAC REPORT

The Government has fostered increased over-servicing by extending bulkbilling to a ll.

Through bulkbilling, which divorces the patient from any interest in the cost of the service, the Government has put into place the means by which some entrepeneurial .

doctors are now able within the law, to maximise their Medicare income.

The PAC Report acknowledges this problem at page 107:

"In many cases where pathology abuse has occurred it appears that the patient has not been aware of the general type of extent of pathology tests being ordered."

Further the report refers to the desirability for both the patient and the referring doctor

"to be made more aware of the pathology tests and associated Medicare Benefits Schedule costs that were being incurred due to a referral or a request that was about to be forwarded to a pathologist."

Of course with bulkbilling the patient has no idea of the services ordered or the cost.

I have warned the Government about the effects of bulkbilling time and again.

The Government has also known about the specific allegations of kick-backs and other unsavoury practices for a long time. The Minister stands comdemned for his failure to take action to change Medicare to fix the problem which is costing the community millions.

11 September 1985.