Abbott agrees to consult on GP rebate cut

A motion to call a spill of the Liberal Party leadership was defeated by 61 votes to 39 in a secret ballot on Monday morning, a humbling result for Mr Abbott that indicated the loss of 60% of his backbench support.

During the morning party-room meeting and a later press conference, Mr Abbott signalled his willingness to give ground on some key policy areas.

He declined to foreshadow whether the Medicare policy he adopted in December – to introduce a $5 rebate cut in July and a four-year freeze – would be scrapped or modified.

But he pledged not to adopt new policies without the support of the medical profession and the Senate.

“It is important to maintain the support of the medical profession because, let’s face it, they have the best interests of their patients at heart,” the prime minister said.

Health Minister Sussan Ley’s office said after the meeting there was no immediate plan to amend