Spend on GP services up $2.80 per patient over five years

The spending increase from $301.60 per person in 2006/07 to $304.40 in 2011/12 – which amounts to an average rise of less than 0.2% per year – was contained in a Productivity Commission report published today.

It came as the federal government continued to distance itself from the copayment proposal proffered by a think tank late last year. Some within Coalition ranks have continued to support the measure designed to discourage patients from unnecessary GP visits and to save Medicare about $750 million over four years.

Meanwhile, spending on public hospitals ballooned from $1525 per person in 2007/08 to $1792 in 2011/12, an increase of 17.5% or 4.4% per year, the report showed.

The proportion of patients presenting to hospital emergency departments who believed the same care could have been provided by a GP rose from 21.5% in 2010/11 to 23.6% in 2012/13.

A likely increase in hospital admissions was among the concerns most