Medicare Locals in budget firing line

"We think there are some good Medicare Locals doing some good work," Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday. 

"What I'm determined to do is to make sure that we can get money back to doctors and nurses and away from health bureaucrats."

Various media have reported rumours of Coalition government plans to scrap funding or redraw boundaries for some of Australia’s 61 Medicare Locals to reduce them to 20 or so groups.

Whatever the outcome, Jeff Cheverton, acting CEO of the Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local, said he hoped that any reforms under the coming budget would also bring clear and specific performance measures for MLs.

“At the moment there are said to be well-performing Medicare Locals and low-performing ones. But there’s no dashboard to show who is performing well,” he said.

The problem with a cost-benefit analysis for MLs is that they all have different circumstances, and the