Pensioners could be spared $7 co-payment

Mr Dutton said he had asked his department to cost an alternative co-payment model proposed by the Australian Medical Association but declined to elaborate on the details. There is speculation that the plan would exempt elderly and disadvantaged patients and Indigenous Australians who visit their doctor through Aboriginal Medical Services.

“[The AMA] still believe and support a co-payment model and we're having a look and pricing what it is that they've suggested to us and we'll negotiate with them,” he said in a radio interview on Tuesday. 

He said he was also considering the suggestions of cross-bench senators. 

"I believe that we can negotiate this, and the reason I think it’s important, and I think that the crossbenchers get that it’s important that we want to have a strong Medicare," he said. 

“If there are further changes that we can make, that people believe will make it fairer, I’m