Dr Tony Webber, a GP who until recently headed the Medicare watchdog, the Professional Services Review, has kick-started a long overdue debate, about waste in health spending.

In an article in The Medical Journal of Australia, Webber estimates that $2-3 billion dollars are wasted annually through misuse of the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Medicare Safety Net. For this he blames poor public policy (for example, he calls the Medicare Safety Net "one of the most poorly thought-through pieces of health legislation") and the practices of a "minority of unscrupulous and greedy practitioners".