Medicare to undergo revamp

The Federal Government announced yesterday that the efficiency and value of every subsidised test, treatment and procedure will be investigated in a review designed to revamp the Medicare system and free up money for use elsewhere in the healthcare budget

According to Minister for Health Sussan Ley, many Medicare items are no longer used or were found to be used inappropriately. “Patching it up with bandaids is not a solution”, she said during the announcement of the decision.

Ms Ley said, “The Medicare system is sluggish, bloated and at high risk of long-term chronic problems.” Last year the Government paid out $20 billion on more than 350 million Medicare services.

According to research from leading academics, there are at least 150 ineffective, expensive or outdated Medicare-funded items. Associate Professor Adam Elshaug from Sydney University stressed the importance of reducing inappropriate tests and procedures to deliver better healthcare for Australians.

“It’s also ensuring we save those dollars and those dollars can be allocated elsewhere in the healthcare budget”, Mr Elshaug said.

In addition to the overhaul, the Government made it clear there would be no GP co-payment and that there were no plans to introduce one.

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