Exposing Medicare rorts

SYDNEY GP Dr Tony Webber’s six years as Professional Services Review (PSR) director either jaundiced his view of the medical profession or gave him a rare insight into the problems at the heart of Medicare, depending on whose assessment you believe.

What is in no doubt is that Dr Webber lost none of his ability to polarise opinion when he made the transition back from the public service to general practice last year.

His recent article in the MJA, in which he estimated $2–3 billion of the health budget was being spent inappropriately each year, provoked wide ranging responses from the profession, government and consumers.

And that, says Dr Webber, was entirely the point.

“There was the predicted and expected reaction of the government saying everything is okay and I would only know about the extreme cases I saw personally [while PSR director],” he says.

“To admit there was a wider problem would

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