Abbott backtracks on co-payment plan

Doctors’ groups have been in intensive talks with senior politicians on both sides of politics, picking over a list of health budget measures that have alarmed many practitioners and face a hostile reception in the Senate.

AMA President Brian Owler emerged from talks with the prime minister and Health Minister Peter Dutton on Wednesday, describing the discussions as “very constructive”. 

The AMA agreed that “a form of co-payment would be an acceptable model”, but it could not accept the proposal for $5 cut in the Medicare rebate to doctors and the impact on most vulnerable patients, he said.

Associate Professor Owler said the peak doctors’ group acknowledged there were many non-concessional patients who could afford to contribute to their healthcare.

“What we’d like to see is a model that actually promotes this,” he said.

“So, while it’s too early to outline