Medibank GP Access program axed

MEDIBANK has scrapped a controversial program that gave its members priority access to GPs. 

The private insurer will end its GP Access program on 31 July, Medical Observer has confirmed. 

The trial, which at its peak operated in 26 IPN GP clinics, guaranteed Medibank-insured patients GP appointments within 24 hours, no out-of-pocket expenses and free after-hours GP access.

It was attacked for setting a precedent that critics argued would erode clinical autonomy and undermine universal access to healthcare.

In a statement to MO on Friday, Medibank characterised the ditching of the program as having “redefined its involvement in primary care” to focus on chronic disease.

“We are now of the view that there are better ways [than the GP Access program] we can support primary care,” said Dr Andrew Wilson, Medibank executive general manager of provider