Medicare rebate for personal trainers mooted

GP patients would get a Medicare rebate just for working out with a personal trainer under a new proposal from a Victorian division of general practice.

Eastern Ranges General Practice Association (ERGPA) has told MO its division wants existing fitness-related MBS items – such as those under the diabetes-focused Lifestyle Modification Program – expanded to include anyone sent by their GP to a personal trainer.

Under the proposal, patients would need to be referred by their GP to a trainer who was registered with a professional body and subjected to additional training “the same as every other allied health professional”, ERGPA CEO Kristin Michaels said.

“It would make gyms, and that level of expertise, available to people who wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have the disposable income available for them to pay for that,” Ms Michaels said.

Patients would be “prescribed” a set number of