Record Medicare bulk billing rate a win for patients in the Electorate of Parkes

Mar 12, 2018

More patients in the Electorate of Parkes are seeing their doctor without paying a cent, with the bulk-billing rate increasing to a record 88.6 per cent in the first half of the 2017–18 financial year. 

This is the highest GP bulk-billing rate on record for the July to December period.

In the Electorate of Parkes the bulk billing rate for patients visiting their GP in the July to December period was 413,420, an increase of more than 29,000 on the same period in the 2012-13 financial year.

This is a win for patients in the Electorate of Parkes, Mr Coulton said.

He said in total more than 65.9 million bulk billed GP visits were provided to patients over this time period, an extra 3.1 million services compared to last year.

The total cost of all Medicare services during the six month period was $11.6 billion, with the bulk-billing rate for all services increasing in every state and territory.

“The Government is investing more than ever – with record Medicare funding increasing each and every year from $23 billion in 2017-18, to $24 billion, to $26 billion to $28 billion in 2020-21,” he said. 

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Coalition Government’s commitment to Medicare is rock solid and the figures show that Medicare is providing more support to Australian patients than ever before.

“That’s why the Government will work with the medical profession to address the large and sometimes unanticipated out-of-pocket medical fees some patients face,” the Minister said.

A new expert committee chaired by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, will investigate out-of-pocket costs and options to ensure that consumers are better informed of fees before agreeing to treatment.