When the right wing pushed for co-pays in Oz, they framed it as “lonely grannies are wasting medical resources by going to the doctor just for a chat”.
Most of that argument is raw bullshit, but even to the extent that it has a hint of truth in it…
Treating this phenomena as a pure waste of resources misses the point that, if your elderly people are going to the doctor for “fun”, then that is a clear sign that something is amiss. And you should treat those GP consultations as a valuable opportunity to refer your patients to appropriate psychological and social support services.
We need to stop treating mental illness and distress as “fake”. Get people support before it escalates to physical injury. There are mountains of research demonstrating that this is the better option for both health and financial outcomes.