Date published: 
28 February 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Australians continue to visit their GPs without having to pay a cent, with the latest Medicare data showing 86 out of 100 visits to the GP were bulk-billed for the 2019 calendar year.

The 86.0 per cent bulk billing rate achieved in 2019, is a 4.3 percentage point increase on the 81.7 per cent Labor were able to achieve when they were last in Government in 2012.
Figures for 2019 show an increase of more than 4.3 million free GP visits compared to that of 2018.

In addition, the total Medicare bulk billing rate climbed to 79.2 per cent in 2019, an increase of 0.3 percentage points on 2018, and up 2.7 percentage points over Labor’s rate of 76.5 per cent in its last full year in office in 2012.

A total of 342 million bulk billed services were provided in 2019, an increase of 11.8 million on the previous year.

The Morrison Government invested $1.1 billion in strengthening primary health care in the 2019-20 Budget, building on a $512 million investment for primary care in the 2018-19 MYEFO.

Key investments included:

  • $448.5 million to support voluntary patient enrolment of patients aged 70 years and over with their regular GP from 1 July 2020.
  • $201.5 million to increase Practice Incentive Payments for quality improvement in general practice from 1 July 2019.
  • $187.2 million to increase patient rebates for 176 GP services from 1 July 2019.
  • $62.2 million under the Stronger Rural Health Strategy for a new rural generalist training pathway and continuing to develop new incentive arrangements to attract more rural GPs.

As well as continuing and increasing its investment in Medicare, our Government is ensuring
it supports quality health care.

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world, founded on Medicare. These figures
show Medicare, under the Morrison Government, is supporting the health and wellbeing of
Australians more than ever.

The Morrison Government is only able to guarantee Medicare and essential services because
our strong economic management.

Former ministers: