Shorten says govt buying doctor silence

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is gearing up for another election fight over Medicare, accusing the federal government of trying to buy the silence of doctors with its May budget.

"It's like cash for no comment," he said on Friday of the coalition's plan to gradually thaw the Medicare rebate freeze.

Mr Shorten told the Australian Medical Association national conference in Melbourne costings by the Parliamentary Budget Office revealed the government was saving $3.2 billion by not lifting the freeze immediately.

Instead of putting $735 million back