Date published: 
21 December 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

More Australians are visiting their doctor without having to pay a cent, with new data showing a record GP bulk billing rate for the September quarter.

The data for the first quarter of the 2018-19 financial year has the GP bulk billing rate at a record 86.1 per cent.

This is 0.2 per cent higher than the same period last year and 4.4 per cent higher than the same period under Labor.

Medicare funding is at record levels and the comprehensive data released today shows that patients do not have to reach for their wallet for nearly 9 out of every 10 visits to their local GP.

These figures released today can only be achieved thanks to Australia’s world class GPs and doctors. I want to thank them for their tireless work in supporting Australian patients.

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

Medicare spending is guaranteed and increasing every year from approximately $25 billion in 18-19, to $26 billion in 19-20, $27 billion in 2020-21 and $29 billion in 2021-22 to support healthcare for every Australian.

We ended the Medicare freeze which Labor introduced.

This indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule, which the Government reintroduced in last year’s Budget, is delivering an additional $1.5 billion for Medicare services through to 2021-22.

And we will continue to provide new Medicare support for patients.

Only this month we announced for the first time, those Australians with severe eating disorders will now be able to access a comprehensive treatment plan under Medicare.

Patients will be able to access up to 40 Medicare funded psychological and an up 20 dietetic sessions each year from November 1 next year.

The $110.7 million investment into the first dedicated Medicare item for eating disorders will benefit around 30,000 people each year living with these debilitating disorders, helping them to get better and stay out of hospital.

These investments in Medicare can only be delivered by a stronger economy, which under a Labor Government would be put at risk.