Medicare is a public health insurance scheme. It provides rebates (support payments) to you when you access eligible health services, such as visiting your GP. These payments are yours, not your GP’s. In most cases, the rebate you receive does not cover the total cost of the health service provided.
‘Bulk billing’ is when a doctor bills Medicare directly for the services provided to you, so you have no out-of-pocket expenses. If you are bulk billed, your doctor has accepted the rebate that Medicare pays for that particular service. The rebate for GP consultations is less than 50% of the fee that has been recommended by our nation’s medical associations.
Simply put, the amount that Medicare pays for each appointment no longer covers the cost of running a medical practice. GP’s mostly work in privately owned and operated practices. There are many costs, including staff wages and medical equipment. We all know that the cost of living has increased in recent years, and costs to medical practices are no different. In fact, medical equipment costs increase at more than twice the rate of inflation every year. Despite the increase in costs, which are being felt by everyone, the government has not increased the Medicare rebate enough to support your ongoing healthcare.
Our clinic has been providing quality health care to the surrounding community for the last 75 years. There have been many challenges along the way, but none as difficult as the lack of funding for general practice perpetuated by successive governments. For the benefit of our patients, our clinic has been absorbing this loss for many years, but this is no longer sustainable for the practice. This is now the case for many GP clinics across Australia.
As such, from 1st July 2022 we will be charging a fee for all patients booking appointments. Pension and healthcare card holders are eligible for a discounted fee. Veterans Affairs and children 15 years and under will continue to be bulk billed.
This will allow us to maintain a high level of care for our patients.
The list of fees is available on the Appointments and Fees page.
We hope that in future Medicare will provide a higher rebate to our patients so that accessing healthcare will have a lower out-of-pocket cost.
If you have concerns about the rising out-of-pocket cost for healthcare, please notify your local state and federal members.