Medicare misuse rampant: Webber

Dr Webber claimed in the Medical Journal of Australia that the department turned a blind eye to the practice and to the fact the Medicare Safety Net was “being used in effect to subsidise cosmetic procedures such as ‘designer vaginas’ at $5000 to $6000 each”.

“Extrapolating modestly from the misuse of the MBS, PBS and [safety net]… I am directly aware of, I estimate that $2–3 billion are spent inappropriately each year,” he wrote.

But current PSR director Dr Bill Coote said it was unclear how Dr Webber arrived at that figure, and with only about 50 practitioners referred by Medicare each year, it was “unlikely that could be based directly on his PSR experience”.

In an interview with MO, Dr Webber declined to elaborate on his claim that he was told “not to say anything” after raising cost-shifting with the department, but said hospitals routinely