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.