16 March 2018
More Gold Coast patients are seeing their doctor without paying a cent, with the bulk-billing rate increasing to a record 89.7 per cent in the first half of the 2017–18 financial year, 3.9 per cent higher than the national average.
Nearly 1.6 million bulk billed GP visits were provided to Gold Coast patients over this time period, equating to an extra 100,000 services compared to last year.
Local MP Steven Ciobo said the three Gold Coast electorates had seen an increase in the bulk billing rate for patients visiting their GP.
“This is the highest GP bulk-billing rate on record for the July to December period and 4.1 per cent higher than the 85.6 per cent, when Labor was last in Government,” Mr Ciobo said.
“During the last Federal Election, Labor Senator Murray Watt targeted the sick and the elderly on the Gold Coast in a desperate, misleading attempt to secure votes in a despicable scare campaign.
“These figures put to bed the lies that Labor continues to peddle about Medicare. Medicare has never been stronger.”
Nationally, the total cost of all Medicare services over the six month period was $11.6 billion, with the bulk-billing rate for all services increasing in each state and territory.
The Turnbull Coalition 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.
Spending under Labor was $19.5 billion in 2012-13.
“Our commitment to Medicare is rock solid and the figures released this week show under the Turnbull Government, Medicare is providing more support to Australian patients than ever before,” Mr Ciobo said.
“The Turnbull Coalition Government will continue to drive down the cost of private health insurance and address out-of-pocket costs.”
It’s why the Turnbull Government will work with the medical profession to address the large and sometimes unanticipated out-of-pocket medical fees some patients face.
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.