More GPs to join controversial Medibank scheme
The pilot scheme was announced earlier this year and involves six Brisbane practices operated by IPN.
It is understood that Medibank funds part of each practice’s administration costs in exchange for members being guaranteed an appointment within 24 hours, bulk-billed consultations and free after-hours care.
The AMA warned the deal could lead to a two-tier health system based on the ability of patients to afford care and complained that it was not operating within the spirit of laws preventing private insurers from funding general practice consultations.
However, the pilot is set to be extended next month to between 20 and 30 Queensland practices, with Medibank aiming to include independent GPs and additional IPN practices.
A Medibank spokeswoman told MO that, to date, almost 7000 consultations had been carried out under the pilot, with 4500 members taking advantage of the service.