It appears that bulk billing is coming to an end for a vast number of people across Australia, as doctors contemplate years ahead of a Lieberal freeze on the Medicare rebate. Some are choosing to charge people without a health care card. Others are charging everyone, including pensioners. Only 9% of doctors say they'll continue to bulk bill everyone.
With Labor promising to end the Medicare freeze, and the Liberals saying it'll stay, there's now a very clear contrast between the two major parties. If you want to pay to see a doctor,then vote Lieberal. If you don't want to pay then vote Labor or Greens. It's now that simple.
Bulk billing is being killed off at GP practices around the country as doctors respond to the Government’s plan to freeze the Medicare rebate at $37 for six years.This whilst the corporations get a $50billion tax cut. Even though they pay no tax anyway!
A survey of over 500 doctors by the Royal Australian College of Medical Practitioners to be released today finds 14.5 million patients will face new charges to see a doctor.
Twenty nine per cent of doctors will end bulk billing for all patients as a result of the freeze.
Another 22 per cent will end bulk billing for all and introduce capped fees for low income earners, the survey shows.
Only 9 per cent of doctors said they would continue to bulk bill all patients.
Dr Michael Aufgang from Meadows Medical Centre in Melbourne says the introduction of the freeze last year meant he had to introduce a fee for low income patients.
The Creswick Clunes Medical Centre in country Victoria has ended bulk billing. In Sydney the Glebe Family Medical Practice is considering raising its $65 fee to $70 for non bulk billed patients so it can afford to continue bulk billing low income earners.
Dr Charlotte Hespe says the practice is also considering ending bulk billing for a range of services like medication reviews and chronic care visits for wealthier patients.
“We’ve been bulk billing everybody for these services and we’re starting to introduce a charge, she said.
Glenorchy GP Dr Clare has begun to charge patients without a Health Care Card $20 a visit, after formerly bulk-billing 90 per cent of consultations. news.com.au