Medicare changes may lead to patient cross-subsidisation

Doctors may need to charge some patients more than the mooted $5 co-payment to cover their losses from bulk billing, a Senate estimates hearing has been told.

The government is consulting doctors and health groups over its plans for a $5 co-payment for all non-concessional patients.

But a Senate committee was told on Wednesday that the pressure to continue bulk-billing those without a concession card could result in costs being passed on to other patients.

Currently 73.9% of