Record Medicare bulk billing rate a win for South West patients

More patients in the South West are seeing their doctor without paying a cent, with the bulk-billing rate increasing to a record 85.8 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 and it is nearly 4% higher than Labor’s 81.9 per cent, which they achieved when they were last in Government.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the total number of GP services that have been bulk billed in Forrest is 350,716 which is up from 242,155 under Labor.

“This is a win for South West patients and these figures put to bed the shocking lies that Labor continues to peddle about Medicare. Medicare has never been stronger,” Mrs Marino 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.

“And we’re 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.

“Although more Australians are benefiting from these record bulk-billing figures than ever before, we must continue to drive down the cost of private health insurance and address out-of-pocket costs,” Mrs Marino said.

“That’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.

“The Liberal-led Government is providing record funding for medicines through the PBS.”