The 50-year-old ‘mistake’ that changed general practice

Dr Andrew Orr
Bill Hayden, pictured here in 1973. National Archives of Australia, A6135, K12/1/73/6.

The recent passing of Bill Hayden, the politician responsible for making Medibank a reality some 50 years ago, provoked me to reflect on his role in what has happened to general practice.

This is the potted history of how the best intentions of Gough Whitlam’s minister for social security, who died last October, have left us all arguably worse off.