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Charging Australians to see a family doctor would make them “think twice,” says think tank

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g393 (Published 21 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g393
  1. David Brill
  1. 1Sydney

A think tank has provoked debate by proposing that Australians should pay to see a general practitioner.

The Australian Centre for Health Research called for the introduction of a universal $A6 (£3; €4; $US5) upfront fee for GP visits, which it claims would reduce overuse of services and save the healthcare system almost $A750m by 2018.

The fee would make people “think twice” about seeing the doctor for minor ailments, thereby freeing up GPs to spend time with patients who need it most, the centre said.

A $A6 fee would also offer “a simple yet powerful reminder that, as far as possible, …

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