GP Registrars To Become Salaried Government Employees – 13 May 1998

The Australian Doctors’ Fund has today attacked the Federal Health Budget proposal to place General Practitioner Registrars on a Government funded salary as the first step towards a nationalised health system.

Information obtained from the Federal Department of Health indicates that GP Registrars’ salaries may be paid by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners through Federal Government funds or by grants from the Federal Government to the States which would then fund the Registrars in hospital based places for the duration of their training.

Spokesman for the Australian Doctors’ Fund, Mr Glen Ramos, said “This is just another attack on the independence of the medical profession. The Government will only be satisfied when it has control of the medical profession.”

“The Government is cutting the incomes of GP Registrars so as to fund the full indexation of the GP Medicare rebate over the next two years. This is a case of robbing Peter to pay Peter!”

“When you combine this move together with the provider number restrictions it is easy to see a pattern developing. GPs may be slowly forced out of the Medicare system and work as government employees” said Mr Ramos.

“Why is the Government encouraging GPs to bulk bill? Certainly not because it increases quality of care. It wants to control their incomes through the Medicare rebate.”

“Socialised medicine has proved a failure everywhere else in the world. Why then does our Federal Government embrace it with such enthusiasm.”

“We need real health care reform in this country not discredited policies from other countries” said Mr Ramos.