Doctors divided over fairest pay model

A DEBATE in the MJA over whether doctors should be “hawking their wares among the populace for a fee” or taking a “social service” approach via a salary has divided general practice experts on the best model of pay for GPs.

Obstetrician Dr Brian Peat argued in the MJA that it would be “simple to change the current balance” in Australia by rolling back “the more outrageous subsidies” like the private health insurance rebate and the safety net, and directing the savings into more salaried positions.

AMA Victoria past president Dr Douglas Travis argued against the salaried model, saying with fee for service “as a patient, you pay for what you get, and, as a doctor, you get paid for what you do”.

University of Western Australia professor of general practice Alistair Vickery said elements of both models were valid in certain situations.

“We need a hybrid system that rewards