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Six medical practitioners have been ordered to repay $81,790.25 in Medicare benefits



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5 MAR ’g 1 17:05 ~ROM PR-FORMS DCSH

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Brian Howe

RELEASE Minister for Community Services and Health six m e d i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r s have b e e * o r d e r e d t o REPAY $11,790.55 T3 MEDICARE BEHBFXTS.

Dra John Stanley MacFherson, Reger John T u m i Conies and Pietro Raneri of Sydney, Patrick Glen Mecabe and d i v e Aloysios Frank of Queensland and Harvey Sacks of Perth have hewn ordered to repay a total of $81,790.25 in Medicare benefits received in respect of aedlcal· services which sere found to he excessive.

Mr Brian Hove, Sinister for Community Services and Health said today that the aedlcal practitioners, except for Dr Dunlop and Dr McCabe, have been reprimanded, all the practitioners are to be counselled and are to repay the moneys to the Caaaomrealth of Australia. The amounts to be repaid by each practitioner are: Dr XacPherson $31,987.80, Dr Dunlop $997.45, Dr McCabe

$17,978.10, Dr Raneri $7,533.45, Dr Frank $19,834.90 and Dr Sacks $3,458.55.

The money represents the amount of Medicare benefits paid in respect of service· rendered lay those doctors and which were found to be not reasonably necessary for the adequate medical care of the patients concerned. "The Government is concerned that some doctors are providing services which are quite unnecessary* Hr Howe said.

"Excessive services are a significant drain on public funds, and every effort is being made to reduce the magnitude of the problem.* ,

Statements have been tabled in both House· of Parliament detailing particulars cf the Ministerial determinations which required the doctors to be reprimanded, counselled and to repay the money to the commonwealth of Australia.

"Of course it is a central part of Government health policy that people who need medical services should receive them.*

"There is a clear division between necessary services and services which are not reasonably necessary for the adequate medical care of a particular patient."

•A very fair and adequate system of inquiry exists to

distinguish between the two situations," the Minister said.

Mr Howe explained that Medical Services committee· of Inquiry, which function in each State, review and make recommendations on the medical necessity of services provided by medical

practitioners.

g MAR ’91 17:05 FROM PR-FORMS DCSH PAGE.003

The committees, which report to the Minister for Community Services and Health, could recommend that a doctor be

reprimanded, counselled, and/or ordered to repay the amount of medical benefits involved in services identified as excessive.

The Committees consist of five medical practitioners of whom four are appointed after consultation with the Australian Medical Association.

Mr Howe emphasised that doctors subject to Ministerial determinations following committee of Inquiry recommendations could seek a review. One of the review bodies is the Medical Services Review Tribunal. All applications for review must be

finalised before a matter is made public.

"It is the Governments intention to continue to pursue with the utmost vigour these doctors who provide excessive services".

The Minister said that any doctor who sought to misuse the Medicare scheme must expect to become subject to public scrutiny.

For further information contact Mr X Hazell, telephone (06) 293 6330.

CANBERRA

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