Obstetric fees: extremely high

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The Federal Government says some Canberra obstetricians have massively increased their fees since the Medicare safety net was introduced.

The Government is pushing for changes to the Medicare safety net, including capping benefits paid-out for some procedures.

ACT obstetrician Dr Andrew Foote says the plan will trigger a workforce crisis and he has threatened to stop delivering babies if it goes ahead.

Ms Roxon ... says some ACT doctors are charging 80 per cent more than the national average for pregnancy care.

She says obstetricians' fees have increased by 20 per cent in the last 12 months.

... caps will help prevent specialists from overcharging patients.

"We're not removing anything from the safety net but introducing these caps and calling on obstetricians to start modifying their fees," she said.

... Dr Foote says the changes will force more people to turn to the public system which is already under pressure and some specialists will leave the profession.

Alternatively, women will contract private midwives instead of private obstetricians.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448