Mal Brough
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WE SAY: Sanity prevails thanks to Coast MP

OUR VIEW: SUNSHINE Coast MP Mal Brough reportedly played a critical role in coaxing the Federal Government to drop its controversial plan to slash the Medicare rebate to GPs.

The plan, devised after a Budget plan to introduce a $7 GP co-payment for all patients was rejected by the Senate last year, would have come into effect yesterday.

It would have cut more than $20 from the Medicare benefit paid to GPs for each patient visit that lasted between six and 10 minutes. GPs said if the system was implemented, most would be forced to pass it on to their patients.

Last week, Mr Brough said he had sought the views of Coast doctors over the issue. He also congratulated the government for dropping the plan, saying he and the government were committed to finding a workable Medicare system.

But the former minister in the Howard Government did not mention the drama that unfolded in Canberra. Fairfax Media reported Mr Brough and other Queensland government backbenchers staged a "backbench revolt" over the plan.

Mr Brough, a former Queensland Liberal Party president, even reportedly threatened to go public with his opposition to it.

It would have been incredibly unpopular, and possibly lethal to the Newman State Government on the eve of an election.


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