Rebate cuts on short consults have merit: RACGP

The RACGP says the attempt to stop GPs from claiming level B rebates for consultations lasting less than 10 minutes has "merit" — despite resulting in the loss of millions in general-practice funding.

As part of the Federal Government's co-payment reforms, from 19 January, doctors would have to claim a level A rebate worth $16.95 for consultations spanning 6-10 minutes rather than the $37.05 level B item.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it would reduce "six-minute, sausage-machine medicine" and encourage doctors to spend more time with patients.

This element of plan seems to have won support from the RACGP.

In a statement released on Wednesday, President Associate Professor Frank Jones wrote: "Even though the most recent [data] reveal less than 10% of all consultations are six