As we approach the federal budget, talk of a GP co-payment to discourage ‘unnecessary’ visits is still alive and well despite a range of concerns including those articulated by the AMA and the Consumers Health Forum.
In this article from the Parliamentary Library, Amanda Biggs explores what is known and unknown about factors impacting GP visits and whether evidence exists that consumer driven over servicing is, in fact, an issue.
One argument forwarded in support of the recent proposal to impose a co-payment for GP visits is that it has the potential to reduce ‘over servicing’, and therefore overall health costs. Over servicing occurs where an unnecessary medical intervention is provided.
Imposing a consumer co-payment on the cost of visiting a doctor will encourage patients to avoid unnecessary visits, thus reducing over servicing and saving the health system money, argue advocates of co-payments. But what is the evidence that over servicing is a problem or that it is being driven by unnecessary consumer demand?READ MORE