2 May 2018

Another Medicare record for patients in Wide Bay

The latest Medicare data from July 2017 to March 2018 shows Australian patients have set a new record for the highest GP bulk-billing rate ever achieved, in this period. 

Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien confirmed the number of services bulk-billed for patients visiting their GP across Australia has reached an all time high of 667,093 and in Wide Bay has grown to 21,856.

“The statistics released today show more Wide Bay residents are seeing their doctor without having to pay.  Compared with the same period last year, close to an additional 22,000 extra services were provided,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In Wide Bay, this rate is nearly 5 per cent higher for the same time period, to the number under Labor when it was last in Government.

“While these figures are welcome and heading in the right direction, I also acknowledge that in some parts of the electorate including Gympie, accessing a bulk billing GP can be very difficult.  I have pointed this out to the Minister for Rural Health Senator Bridget McKenzie and will work with her to improve access to bulk billing services in the region,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Coalition Government is investing more in health than ever before – 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.

The latest Medicare data from July 2017 to March 2018 shows Australian patients have set a new record for the highest GP bulk-billing rate ever achieved for this period – increasing to 85.8 per cent nationwide.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said that the number of fully subsidised services across Medicare in Australia has also risen, with an additional 13 million bulk-billed services delivered compared to last year, with a total of 241 million bulk-billed services nationally.

“Labor should welcome these figures and cease their campaign of misinformation on Medicare and hospitals.” Minister Hunt said.

“Our commitment to Medicare is rock solid and we will continue to ensure Australian patients are supported more than ever.”

“And although more Australians are benefiting from these record figures we must continue to drive down the cost of private health insurance and address out-of-pocket costs.”

“That’s why we’re working with the medical profession to address the large and sometimes unanticipated out-of-pocket medical fees some patients face.” ENDS