Taskforce to review Medicare-subsidised tests and treatments

THE nation's health system is set for a wide shake-up, with Health Minister Sussan Ley opening the door to a wide review of all Medicare-subsidised tests and treatments.

Ms Ley announced the review, to be led by a taskforce of clinicians and medical experts, to find efficiencies and better target tests.

In an ABC Radio interview this morning, Ms Ley highlighted such subsidised tests as B12 and Folate tests, which the Royal College of Pathologists has previously said is being overused to the tune of $60 million a year.

While Ms Ley has ruled out returning to the controversial GP co-payment policy, she again confirmed the government would keep its freeze on Medicare rebates, but wanted to return to indexed increases as soon as possible.

University of Sydney Dean, Professor Bruce Robinson will head a review of Medicare tests and procedures taking feedback from GPs, health industry workers and experts.

Former Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton will also led a concurrent review of GP funding.

Ms Ley also said it would have a specific focus on chronic disease and mental health problems, but the government had no specific savings target it was aiming for.


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