Bulk billing rates hit record level
An increased number of Australians are attending General Practitioner (GP) appointments without reaching into their pockets, with GP bulk billing rates in New South Wales under Medicare hitting a record high of 88.9 per cent for the full year of 2018-19.
Since 2012-13, GP bulk billing rates in New South Wales have increased by 2.1 from 86.8 per cent, proving Medicare is stronger than ever before under this Government.
Northern Beaches MP, Jason Falinski said the new GP bulk billing figures were “evidence more New South Wales patients are visiting their doctor without having to pay a cent.”
“This government is getting on with the job of supporting Australians in every way, especially with the health of the nation. This is a government that shows care and compassion to all Australians, and these figures are evidence of that.”
Nationally, a GP bulk billing rate of 86.2 per cent saw a four percentage point increase on the 2012-13 figure.
Patients made 136.5 million bulk billed GP visits in 2018-19, up 3.3 million on the previous financial year.
The national bulk billing rate for total Medicare services reached 79.2 per cent for 2018-19, up 0.2 percentage points compared to the previous year, and up 2.7 percentage points from 76.5 per cent in 2012-13.
Australians accessed 335.8 million bulk billed services including GP, specialist, pathology and diagnostic imaging services in 2018–19, up 8.9 million more than the record set last year.
The total cost of all Medicare services in 2018-19 was $24.1 billion, an increase of 3.5 per cent in benefits paid.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the figures showed Medicare was “supporting the health and wellbeing of Australians more than ever before.”
“By increasing our investment in Medicare, the Morrison Government is ensuring it supports quality health care,” Minister Hunt said.
On 1 July this year, the Government increased the patient rebate for further GP items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Specialist procedures, allied health services and other GP services such as mental health and after hour’s services, were indexed.
The Medicare Benefits Schedule Review will ensure Medicare services are effective and appropriate for patients now and into the future.
Australia has one of the best health systems in the world, founded on Medicare. These figures show Medicare, under the Morrison Government is supporting the health and wellbeing of Australians more than ever.