The Darbon Institute has released a position statement on Medicare rebates for circumcision.

Key points

  • Medicare rebates exist for circumcisions of the penis that are ‘clinically relevant’ under the law.
  • A ‘clinically relevant’ service is one provided by a medical practitioner that is generally accepted in the medical profession as being necessary for the appropriate treatment of the patient.
  • Neither the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), nor any other professional medical body worldwide, recommends the routine cosmetic circumcision of minors as necessary for the appropriate treatment of any condition.
  • A minority of penile circumcisions in Australia are for religious reasons, with most performed for purely social and cosmetic reasons so a boy ‘matches’ his father.
  • Medical practitioners at private clinics throughout Australia are incorrectly and, in some cases, fraudulently claiming Medicare rebates for cosmetic circumcisions performed for social, cultural, and religious reasons (procedures that are not clinically relevant).
  • Claiming Medicare rebates for non-clinically relevant circumcisions would appear to be an offence under the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) and the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

Read the full position statement.