U-turn on after-hours ‘search and seize’ powers

The Department of Health and Ageing has backtracked on demands officials be allowed to snoop through the records of GP clinics that sign after-hours contracts.

From next month, practices will lose about $60 million in Practice Incentive Program payments for after-hours care, with the money redirected to Medicare Locals so they can contract services from GP clinics themselves.

But contracts drawn up by some Medicare Locals had included controversial clauses allowing both Medicare Local staff and government officials the right to enter practices,