Suggestion to scrap bulk-billing is badly received

EXPERTS have lambasted a proposal to scrap bulk-billing and replace it with a user-pays system in which taxpayers choose how they spend their health dollars.

A paper from think tank the Centre for Independent Studies accuses Medicare of encouraging “unnecessary consultations” by “misallocating” funds on a “non-needs and highly politicised basis”.

“Medicare is inequitable because patients with the greatest health needs queue for treatment at overcrowded public hospitals, while patients with minor or trivial health needs receive free or highly subsidised GP visits on demand,” report author Dr Jeremy Sammut (PhD) wrote.

“Many doctors, politicians and voters will resent the unavoidable conclusion: the entitlement to bulk-billed services should be consigned to the dustbin.”

Dr Sammut said Medicare should be “de-monopolised” and replaced with a “soundly constructed