GFC could raise GP co-payments

“If we are looking at GFC2 next year and the budget position deteriorates further, it will be interesting to see if greater use of mandatory co-payments comes back on the agenda,” Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Jeremy Sammut told MO.

Primary health, still reeling from cuts to MBS rebates for GP mental health, was left largely alone as the government began new measures to help get the budget to surplus in 2012–13 in diving world financial markets.

Mr Sammut said that if the eurozone crisis worsened, the government may revisit the Hawke government era proposal to introduce mandatory patient co-payments for GP consultations.

Former Department of Finance deputy secretary Stephen Bartos agreed the government could consider the measure but urged caution.

“If there is another GFC, all bets are off and they will have to revisit other things,” he said.

“They’ve got a tricky