Realigning Medicare: further changes in general practitioner consultation delivery rates

Michael J Taylor
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11004
Published online: 17 February 2014

To the Editor: A 2010 research paper published by the Journal showed long-term changes to Medicare-subsidised general practitioner consultations.1 Long (level C and D) consultations declined considerably between 2005 and the end of the study in 2009. The decline was not explained by the introduction of special items (eg, chronic disease management items) onto the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Level A consultations increased substantially over the same period. Subsequent research showed that two different supply-side changes underpinned the changes in level C and D consultation rates.2

  • Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Taylor MJ, Horey D, Livingstone C, Swerissen H. Decline with a capital D: long-term changes in general practice consultation patterns across Australia. Med J Aust 2010; 193: 80-83. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Taylor MJ, Horey D, Livingstone C, et al. General practitioners and consultation drift: the effects of supply-side changes and reforms on service delivery patterns. Aust Health Rev 2013; 37: 574-578.
  • 3. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Medical Benefits Schedule Online. Canberra: DoHA, 2010. (accessed Aug 2013).
  • 4. Masters CS, Watt MI. Professional Services Review: unnatural justice. Med J Aust 2012; 196: 20-21. <MJA full text>
  • 5. Webber TD. What is wrong with Medicare [letter]? Med J Aust 2012; 196: 240. <MJA full text>


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