Date published: 
5 April 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

GP bulk billing rates under Medicare rose to 86 per cent in the six months from July to December 2018, a record high for this period.

This is up 0.2 percentage points on the same period in 2017 and means more Australians are visiting their doctor without having to pay a cent.

It is further proof that Medicare is stronger than ever before under the Liberal National Government.

Our commitment to Medicare and bulk-billing is rock solid.

Maintaining Medicare for future generations is an essential part of our Long Term National Health Plan.

A total of 165.7 million services, including GP, specialist, pathology and diagnostic services, were bulk billed in the July to December 2018 period, over 3.2 million more than in the same period in 2017.

These figures mean that Australians are receiving more medical services at no out-of-pocket cost.

The total benefits paid by the Government for Medicare services during the six month period was $12 billion – an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.

These figures show that Medicare is supporting the health and wellbeing of Australians more than ever before.

In this year’s Budget we announced that we are boosting Medicare funding by $6 billion, up from $19.5 billion in 2012–13, to $24.9 billion in 2018–19, to $30.7 billion in 2022–23.

We are increasing the Medicare rebate for important diagnostic services, including ultrasound and X-ray imaging to reduce the costs to patients.

This will support Australians’ access to bulk-billed diagnostic imaging services.

We have invested $375 million for more than 50 Medicare-eligible MRI machines nationally.