1/12/2017

Medicare is stronger than ever and patients in Wide Bay are benefiting

A record 86.3 per cent of patients in Wide Bay were bulk-billed when visiting their GPs during the September quarter, showing more people than ever before are benefiting from the Coalition Government’s commitment to Medicare, Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said.

Nationally, 85.9 per cent of patients were bulk-billed during the same timeframe, which is the highest bulk billing rate ever achieved for a September quarter – and significantly higher than Labor’s 82.2% when they were last in Government.

Mr O’Brien said the bulk-billing rate in Wide Bay was higher than the national average and a 3.2% increase from when the Coalition Government came into office.

“This is great news for residents in Wide Bay because it means more people can visit the doctor and get the medical treatment they need without having to reach for their wallets,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Coalition Government is spending more than ever before on Medicare – with record funding increasing each and every year from $23 billion in 2017-18, to $24 billion, to $26 billion to $28 billion in 2020-21.

Mr O’Brien said spending under Labor was $19.5 billion in 2012-13.

“These figures are evidence that the Coalition Government’s commitment to Medicare is rock-solid, and they are evidence highlighting the shocking lies that Labor continues to peddle,” Mr O’Brien said.

Last financial year, Australian patients received an additional 21 million bulk billed GP visits compared with Labor’s last year in Government in 2012-13 – an increase of more than 20 per cent.

In this year’s Budget, the Coalition Government established the Medicare Guarantee Fund to secure the ongoing funding of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – to guarantee Australians’ access to these services and affordable medicines into the future.

The figures released today show that under the Coalition Government, Medicare is providing more support to Australians than ever before.