Record number of Australians receiving Medicare benefits

More Australian patients are seeing their doctor without having to reach for their wallet with GP bulk billing rates for the 2016-17 financial year increasing to 85.7% compared to 85.1% in 2015-16.

Page last updated: 21 August 2017

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21 August 2017

More Australian patients are seeing their doctor without having to reach for their wallet with GP bulk billing rates for the 2016-17 financial year increasing to 85.7% compared to 85.1% in 2015-16.

This is the highest bulk billing rate for any financial year since the inception of Medicare.

It is also significantly higher than Labor’s 82.2% in 2012-13.

Bulk billing rates for the June 2017 quarter were also at record levels, 86.4% up from 85.9% the previous June. Historically this quarter is always amongst the highest of the year due to the winter flu season.

This year, under the Coalition, Australian patients received 21 million more bulk billed GP visits than under Labor’s last year in Government in 2012-13, an increase of 3.5 %.

Our commitment to Medicare is rock-solid with funding increasing each and every year from $23 billion in 2017-18, to $24 billion, to $26 billion to $28 billion in 2020-21.

Australians accessed 8.2 million more fully subsidised Medicare services compared to 2015-16, with a total of 308.6 million bulk billed services in 2016-2017.

Patients received over 127.5 million bulk billed GP general visits during the last year.

The total bulk billing rate in 2016-17 for total Medicare services was 78.3%, increasing by 0.1% over the previous year.

The total cost of all Medicare benefits paid the last financial year was $22.0 billion – an increase of 4.2% in benefits paid.

We will continue to ensure Medicare is strengthened into the future. These figures released today by the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services show that Medicare is stronger than ever.

Universal access to medical services, public hospitals and medicines through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is something that Australians rightly expect and something which we are delivering on.

The Turnbull Government has a rock solid commitment to Medicare, bulk billing and the PBS and our Long Term National Health Plan will ensure that Australians will continue to be supported by one of the best health systems in the world, long into the future.

(ENDS)

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