Bring Medicare into the modern day and age

In my 25 years as a teacher of medical students, at all year levels, from both Melbourne and Monash University, very few students are thinking of General Practice as a career path.

I have thought for a long time about what would be, in my opinion, changes that could be made to Medicare to make an effective system. The current tragedy is that a doctor who spends six minutes with a patient is paid exactly the same amount of money that another doctor gets for spending 19 minutes with the patient. This is of course absurd and needs to be rectified in some way.

I have been a doctor for 43 years and in General Practice, at the coalface, one might say, in Bulleen, for 37 years. I started when there was no national insurer. I saw the start of Medibank, then Medibank and co-payment, which was a logistical nightmare, then the dumping of Medibank for Medicare.

This was in a time before computer technology. This was a time when doctors had to handwrite