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Outrage at MBS Review Chair’s comments

Federal Council has passed a motion that condemns recent comments attributed to the Chair of the MBS Review.

30 May 2019

The AMA Federal Council has condemned comments made by MBS Review Chair Professor Bruce Robinson that anaesthetists were making a lot of money protecting colonoscopy lists at the expense of more complex work and that doctors were exploiting the Review.

During a speech delivered in May, Professor Robinson claimed some doctors and representative groups were blocking reforms, exploiting loopholes, and risking “cooking the MBS goose”.

The remarks sparked immediate outrage, with calls from some quarters for Professor Robinson to resign or be sacked.

At its meeting late in May, held in Brisbane directly before the AMA National Conference, the AMA Federal Council passed a motion that: 

  1. condemns recent comments attributed to the Chair of the MBS Review as being unjust assertions of opinion that appear to describe a philosophy inconsistent with the stated aims and purpose of the Review;
  2. requests that the President communicate these concerns directly to the Minister for Health to warn of the risk that these opinions and philosophy have tarnished the MBS Review processes and recommendations; and  
  3. further requests that the President relay to the Minister that there are widespread concerns in the profession that the Review is being rushed to a conclusion without regard to consequences or proper modelling, and that these opinions and philosophy, rather than rigorous data, are being influential in the outcomes, and that Medicare rebates for patients are in many instances under unjust attack as a result.


Published: 30 May 2019