‘It’s got to breaking point’: Australians warned bulk-billing system at risk of collapse

GPs are choosing to phase out bulk-billing payment methods and are concerned vulnerable Australians will be left without access to affordable basic health care.

“Over the past few decades the government hasn’t been really paying much attention to general practice,” Sydney doctor Brad McKay told Today.

GP Brad McKay is warning of the end of bulk-billing. (9News)

Our wages for general practitioners haven’t been escalating, or increasing for a long time, our wages were frozen for many many years under Medicare as well, so this gap has developed.”

McKay said GPs are sick of handling the gap and being paid “at half the wage” they should be.

“We’ve been asking for support for many, many decades and it’s really got to breaking point at the moment,” McKay said.

With the average out-of-pocket expense for GPs having risen by 60 per cent in the last decade, hundreds of clinics across the nation are struggling to make ends meet.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule rebate for a standard consultation recently rose by 65 cents to $39.75.

It means patients can access many Medicare services over the phone.
The current Medicare Benefits Schedule rebate for a standard consult is $39.75 (iStock)

More and more GPs are advising their patients they can no longer provide bulk billing as a service.

“It’s very, very hard to find a bulk billing doctor these days and it’s going to get harder,” said McKay.

The result, McKay says, is more people ending up in hospital.

“People don’t see the doctor and they get worse and they end up in the emergency department,” he said.

“So it costs the government a lot more when that happens. It’s like $1000 for you to go to the emergency department.”

The subvariants and mutations of COVID-19

A shortage of GPs is adding to the stress, with many choosing to leave the profession.

“Lots of GPs aren’t coming in from medical students, they’re not deciding to do general practice,” McKay said.

“We’re getting really thin on the ground as well.”

In May, the Albanese government announced a $970m investment in primary health care to boost GP practices.

The policy includes a $750m “Strengthening Medicare” fund to roll out from 2023-24 and a $220m grants program for upgrades in local practices.

Source by [author_name]


Nation celebrates Diamond Jubilee, completion of 75 years of independence

Nation celebrates Diamond Jubilee, the 75th Anniversary of Independence...

Trump Attorney Signed June Memo Falsely Declaring Classified Docs Were Returned: Report

One of Donald Trump’s lawyers signed a statement in...

China’s Shanghai to reopen schools with daily COVID testing

Authorities say all primary, middle and high schools, kindergartens...

Man arrested, Canberra Airport evacuated after gunfire in check-in area

A man with a gun has been arrested following a shooting near the security screening at Canberra Airport on Sunday afternoon.The terminal was evacuated...

Shooting reported at Canberra Airport

Canberra Airport is in lockdown after gunshots were reportedly heard in the check-in concourse.Early reports indicate there was a single shooter who has been...

How Smith can win over fans after LIV move

Australian cricket icon Mark Taylor says there is a way Cam Smith can win over Aussie fans even if he joins the LIV Golf...