Dutton to 'break bread' with Palmer on co-payment

Mr Dutton will meet the billionaire MP on Thursday night to discuss the Palmer United Party's concerns about the $7 charge to visit the doctor.

The government has so far struggled to sell the co-payment to the crossbenchers, but the health minister described negotiations as "fruitful".

"I think we can be hopeful but there is a lot of work to do and these are long-running negotiations," he told ABC radio.

"I'm going to break bread with Mr Palmer tonight and I think like all of us Mr Palmer wants to see a Medicare system which is sustainable."

Mr Dutton said the government could no longer provide GP services for free.

"That would be the cheap and easy option, but that's not the option that we're taking," he said.

One of the compromises being floated is exempting pensioners from the payment.

But speaking on the eve of the meeting, Mr Palmer said he had concerns about the longevity of such an exemption and

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