Nothing wrong with co-payment: Abbott


The government is still in talks with the cross bench on the GP co-payment, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says there is nothing wrong about having a price signal in the Medicare system, indicating the government will push ahead with its $7 GP co-payment.

Senior ministers have spent Thursday trying to hose down reports the government could soon scrap the unpopular doctor's charge, but have only succeeded in fanning speculation it could be introduced without parliamentary approval.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said the government was now "exploring all options" to make Medicare sustainable, including through regulation.

However, Treasurer Joe Hockey said the government would press ahead with legislation in the parliament.

Asked whether the government was still committed to the $7 fee to see the doctor, Mr Abbott said "there's nothing wrong" with having price signals in the Medicare system.

"We want a sustainable Medicare, we want to see price signals in the system, we want to see the Medical Research Future Fund take shape," he told question time on Thursday.

"And we are talking to the cross bench in the Senate to bring about all these good ends."

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