Eftpos good enough for Medicare refunds after all

Medicare Australia has had a change of heart over the merits of developing an entirely new payments mechanism to distribute government rebates from medical consultations. As a result, the federal government will now work with banks to make use of “reverse Eftpos” to credit funds to a patient's bank account. The federal government and banks hope to have the system in place by the second half of next year, and the pressure will be on to meet this deadline given that a general election is due by late 2007. These services would also allow next-day payment of Medicare rebates to patients (in cases where the patient paid the bill to the general practitioner or medical specialist) or to the health care provider (where the provider bulk-billed the service).