Briefing document puts dollar figure on freeze impact

THE Turnbull government's two-year extension to the Medicare indexation freeze will cost the Victorian government $230 million as people with minor ailments head to emergency departments instead of GPs, a briefing document asserts.

Advice from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, seen by Medical Observer, estimates that there were 111,885 avoidable hospital visits in the state last financial year, at an avoidable cost of $659 million.

As GPs abandon bulk billing, the rise in out-of-pocket costs will likely add further pressure, it says, and cause