The Medicare rebate system should be reformed to enable General Practitioners to spend more time helping patients to avoid preventable health problems, the AMA said today. AMA Federal President, Dr Andrew Pesce, used General Practice Week to highlight the important role GPs play in preventive health care. "A recently-released Australian Institute of Health and Welfare/University of Sydney report showed an increasing number of patients who present to GPs are overweight or obese and more people are requesting check-ups," Dr Pesce said "GPs are also spending more time advising patients with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other chronic conditions on how to stay fit and healthy. "A visit to a GP with a health problem can also be a good opportunity for patients to receive advice about their lifestyle and health needs. "Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates perversely encourage shorter consultations. But it has been shown that longer consultations can include preventive health messages and deliver better outcomes. "The Minister for Health and Ageing has promised Medicare reform and simplification but the reforms are yet to be put in place." Dr Pesce said the MBS should also support practice nurses to provide brief preventive health follow-ups on behalf of a patient's doctor.Source: AMALIN << Mercosur Urges For Patent-Free Swine Flu Treatments AMA Urges Government to Slash GP Red Tape >> Recommended Reading Report Highlights Importance of GPs A new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare/University of Sydney report on General Practice highlights the critical role GPs play in keeping the Australian community healthy. READ MORE AMA Urges Support To Prevent Alcohol Related Health Problems The AMA has written to Federal MPs and Senators urging them to support a number of key policy measures to reduce preventable health problems linked to excessive alcohol use. READ MORE Understanding the Impact of Medicare Part D on Medical Spending PITTSBURGH, July 1 - After enrolling in Medicare Part D, seniors who previously had limited or no drug coverage spent more on prescriptions and less on other medical care services READ MORE Better Coordination Help Prevent Fractures In Osteoporosis Patients: AMA The AMA has called for better coordination across the medical profession and other health providers in alerting patients to the early signs of osteoporosis. READ MORE What is Medicare / Medicaid? Medicaid / Medicare are different governmental programs that provide medical and health-related services to specific groups of people in U.S. and managed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Hearing Loss Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) Drug - Food Interactions More News on: What is Medicare / Medicaid?