Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Greedy doctors

The demand for private obstetrical services is falling off due to rising costs. Rather than increase demand by lowering fees, "baby catchers" are demanding more government money according to The Age:

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Nicola Roxon rejected the call, saying obstetricians could reduce their fees to reflect increases to Medicare rebates for 15 obstetric services this year.

''[These increases] are costing $157.6 million over four years. For example, the Medicare rebate for a private delivery increased by 30 per cent from January 1, 2010, so there is no justification for doctors not to reduce their fees,'' she said.

The spokeswoman said private fees had risen 267 per cent over the past five years, with the top 10 per cent of obstetricians earning $1.1 million from Medicare last year, thanks in large part to the safety net.

There is no justification for doctors being so highly paid.


Anonymous Sick to death said...

1.1 mill might be a tad conservative actually. Some specialists can pretty much write their own checks. There's a limited number of dedicated moral individuals out there but a larger group who view medicine cynically as a lucrative business and treat patients as their hapless cash cows, and with about the same amount of respect.

And then they'll whine about being underpaid - in comparison to a rock star. As they drive the luxury lease car home to an exclusive suburb to see the kids come home from their 20K a year private schools. And plan their yearly overseas holidays. While on remuneration of vast multiples of the average wage.

You don't know the half of it Beck.

But then they've got us over a barrel really - what are our choices but to keep paying the piper.

Pay up or hope to hell you don;t get sick right?

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Steve at the Pub said...

Er.. Sick to Death, the $1.1 million is what they were paid by Medicare.
I am guessing obstetric specialists also receive "gap payments" direct from patients, payments from Private Health funds, etc.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

I'm skeptical towards Roxon's comments. It's typical socialist mentality to blame the rich, and I'm sure this is an easy way to deflect attention from the Government's hopeless mismanagement of healthcare.

I would imagine that Ob/gyn insurance fees are incredibly high too, so I'd be surprised that they were making as much as is claimed.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Sick to death said...

Steve 'also receive "gap payments"' that's what I meant by the half of it. You're correct.

PS Dan if we factor in they may pay up to $80,000 at year insurance ( high end ) but still pull in 1.1 mill plus the gap (quite significant amounts in private practice) plus incidental payments is that looking at it with a socialist attitude?

I think not.

2:38 PM  

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