The Federal Government sets Medicare benefits arbitrarily. Over the years the benefit level has not kept up with inflation thereby widening the gap between reasonable fees and benefits. Every medical practice incurs the cost of employing administrative staff, general running expenses such as computers and software, phone, rent, electricity, professional indemnity insurance, accounting fees and medical equipment. The practice costs must all be met entirely from the fee charged but the doctor for the medical services provided.
We encourage you to have an ongoing relationship with your family doctor (GP) and we ask that you obtain a referral from your GP prior to the consultation. If you have a current GP referral then you are able to claim a Medicare rebate. The referral will relate to a specific problem and is valid for 12 months. If you need advice about another problem as well then you are required by Medicare to obtain a separate referral.
For long-term problems and indefinite referral maybe the best option for you. Please discuss this with your GP. Referrals from other specialists are only valid for 3 months.