Govt can't have it both ways on membership fees debate

COMMENT: The bulk-billing double standard has GPs, understandably, frustrated

There is a gaping chasm between the Federal Government’s words and its actions on the practice of charging membership fees in return for bulk-billing — and it’s no surprise GPs are frustrated.

Calculator and stethoscope

On one side, there is a growing number of organisations, like the National Health Co-op in the ACT, openly charging annual membership fees for bulk-billed care.

On the other is the ­Department of Health, which tells GPs they mustn’t follow suit because they would be breaking the law.

The department points to section 20A of

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