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Bulk billing on the rise in Canberra

By Canfan - 4 February 2015 13

doctor-GP-stock

It’s now easier to see a general practitioner and bulk billing rates are on the rise, according to the Productivity Commission’s report on government services, released today.

Key report findings

  • There are now more general practitioners per capita in the ACT
    Availability of GPs increased from 65.5 to 72 per 100,000 people between 2010-11 and 2013-14.
  • The ACT has the highest percentage of female GPs in Australia
    42.6 per cent of the ACT’s GPs are female,  well above the national average of 33.5 per cent.
  • ACT GPs are bulk billing more often
    Bulk billed visits in the ACT increased from 50.2 per cent in 2011-12 to 57.2 per cent in 2013-14.
  • Canberrans are more likely to defer GP visits due to high costs
    Around 6.9 per cent of ACT respondents said that they would avoid going to the doctor because of costs – the joint-highest in the nation.

Minister for Health Simon Corbell said the ACT was steadily improving its access to GP services, but expressed concerns that the federal government’s plans to introduce new fees or reduce Medicare payments would impact vulnerable Canberrans.

“While it is fantastic that we have been able to increase access to GPs in Canberra and raise the number of bulk billed patients it is unfortunate that there are people in our community who still have to consider the cost when deciding whether or not to visit a doctor,” he said.

“The only consideration a sick person should have when thinking about visiting their doctor is whether or not they need medical attention, not whether or not they can afford the visit.”

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Bulk billing on the rise in Canberra
vintage123 9:48 pm 26 Apr 15

I pay $115 for 15 minutes with my local Dr. There is no Medicare rebate.

DaisyK 11:07 pm 25 Apr 15

Are there any bulk bill clinics for people without health care cards in Canberra? Phillip now charges same fees as elsewhere. Prefer South side.

Hamlet201 1:29 pm 06 Feb 15

Where ?????

mrs1948 11:45 am 06 Feb 15

Are people aware of the new service in Canberra – National Home Doctor Service?
They are available in Canberra, Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra. Their call centre opens at 4pm on weekdays, from 10am on Saturdays, and all day on Sundays and public holidays. When you call them, they visit you at home – weekdays between 6pm and 8am; and weekends from noon on Saturday to 8am Monday; 24 hours on pubic holidays.
Visits are bulk billed.
To request a doctor you can either call them on 13 SICK (13 7425) or add their app to your mobile or iPad. If you add the app, make sure you complete all your Medicare details as this will make it so much more easier if you need to call them.
My daughter called them recently, and after she registered a visit via her app, they rang her very shortly afterwards and advised that a doctor would be there in 15 minutes – he was.

Mysteryman 8:43 am 06 Feb 15

JC said :

Mysteryman said :

neanderthalsis said :

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

Hear, hear.

What are the ACT government doing regarding the cost of GP visits, other than trying to pass the buck to the Federal government?

What can they do in regards to GP’s? and in particular the cost? At the end of the day, GP’s are private businesses that can open and close as they will and charge what they like.

The only thing the local government can do is assist the GP’s by providing primary health care outside the scope of GP’s and in Canberra we have quite a bit of that. The walk in clinics, the community health centres, programs for the elderly etc. They take the heat of the GP’s, but as I said at the end of the day GP’s are not under the control of the ACT government.

Correct. GP fees are not under the direct control of the Federal government, either, but the ACT Gov seem to be trying to direct attention to them regarding the cost of services.

There *are* things the ACT government can do to encourage lower visit costs. Some of those things you’ve already mentioned.

dungfungus 11:46 am 05 Feb 15

Mysteryman said :

watto23 said :

I’m happy to reign in Health spending if it was genuinely out of control, but the issue we have is the federal government want us to believe that Welfare and Health are costing too much so they can reduce the taxation paid by the top end of town…

What a complete load of bollocks. People like yourself, and others on the left are fighting really hard to perpetuate this notion of a class warfare being waged from the top down. It’s simply not true. The “top end of town” basically fund the rest of us. They get very little from the government and pay the most taxes. And yet people like you continue to perpetuate the idea that the government is giving them a free ride. It’s simply not true and the longer you assert it, the less credibility you have.

Thanks for saying what had to be said. This what Abbott and Hockey failed to spell out.
The people who are being asked to pay a small co-payment are a small demographic.
The rest of us not only pay the Medicare levy (which is increases with taxable income) but we also pay a co-payment of about $40 every time we see a GP.
And when we see specialists and have to be hospitalised we get slugged with huge fees that are referred to as “gaps”.
Meanwhile, the small but vocal group mentioned before (who have been hijacked by the left to be prtrayed as “victims” of coalition policies) pay nothing.

JC 11:03 am 05 Feb 15

Mysteryman said :

neanderthalsis said :

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

Hear, hear.

What are the ACT government doing regarding the cost of GP visits, other than trying to pass the buck to the Federal government?

What can they do in regards to GP’s? and in particular the cost? At the end of the day, GP’s are private businesses that can open and close as they will and charge what they like.

The only thing the local government can do is assist the GP’s by providing primary health care outside the scope of GP’s and in Canberra we have quite a bit of that. The walk in clinics, the community health centres, programs for the elderly etc. They take the heat of the GP’s, but as I said at the end of the day GP’s are not under the control of the ACT government.

Mysteryman 10:14 am 05 Feb 15

watto23 said :

I’m happy to reign in Health spending if it was genuinely out of control, but the issue we have is the federal government want us to believe that Welfare and Health are costing too much so they can reduce the taxation paid by the top end of town…

What a complete load of bollocks. People like yourself, and others on the left are fighting really hard to perpetuate this notion of a class warfare being waged from the top down. It’s simply not true. The “top end of town” basically fund the rest of us. They get very little from the government and pay the most taxes. And yet people like you continue to perpetuate the idea that the government is giving them a free ride. It’s simply not true and the longer you assert it, the less credibility you have.

dungfungus 9:53 am 05 Feb 15

watto23 said :

Mysteryman said :

neanderthalsis said :

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

Hear, hear.

What are the ACT government doing regarding the cost of GP visits, other than trying to pass the buck to the Federal government?

Well Canberra is what the rest of Australia would get if the co payment was passed IMO. We do have a pretty high standard of healthcare in the ACT though compared to many places around the world. We often lose sight of this, but at the same time we should always be striving to improve our lives.

I’m happy to reign in Health spending if it was genuinely out of control, but the issue we have is the federal government want us to believe that Welfare and Health are costing too much so they can reduce the taxation paid by the top end of town. If they cut spending now, then when revenue increases rather than save the money, it will be more tax cuts and the vicious cycle will continue.

We really need better use of funding as I reckon there would be a fair amount of wastage. Also we have the wrong mentality in Australia, that to create or increase wealth one must reduce their taxes, rather than increase their income. Negative gearing is a prime example, when its better to owe money on a investment property and use it to reduce tax and wait for a capital gain than it is to own it outright and be making a profit on it, the system needs a fix IMO.

Just for once, can you not blame Abbott?
All the problems you refer to were there before Abbott became PM.
The ACT “can show leadership” by doing something like I suggested in #3. Would that be a problem for you?
I am getting sick and tired of going to the TCH ED out of hours for urgent treatment of family members only to be displaced in the queue by drunks who have been beaten up (self inflicted problem). These are the people that are probably already on welfare so the don’t pay the Medicare levy.

watto23 9:40 am 05 Feb 15

Mysteryman said :

neanderthalsis said :

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

Hear, hear.

What are the ACT government doing regarding the cost of GP visits, other than trying to pass the buck to the Federal government?

Well Canberra is what the rest of Australia would get if the co payment was passed IMO. We do have a pretty high standard of healthcare in the ACT though compared to many places around the world. We often lose sight of this, but at the same time we should always be striving to improve our lives.

I’m happy to reign in Health spending if it was genuinely out of control, but the issue we have is the federal government want us to believe that Welfare and Health are costing too much so they can reduce the taxation paid by the top end of town. If they cut spending now, then when revenue increases rather than save the money, it will be more tax cuts and the vicious cycle will continue.

We really need better use of funding as I reckon there would be a fair amount of wastage. Also we have the wrong mentality in Australia, that to create or increase wealth one must reduce their taxes, rather than increase their income. Negative gearing is a prime example, when its better to owe money on a investment property and use it to reduce tax and wait for a capital gain than it is to own it outright and be making a profit on it, the system needs a fix IMO.

dungfungus 9:48 pm 04 Feb 15

Mysteryman said :

neanderthalsis said :

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

Hear, hear.

What are the ACT government doing regarding the cost of GP visits, other than trying to pass the buck to the Federal government?

There’s a good case for a bulk billing co-payment in the ACT. I think the ratepayers (who underwrite most of the deficiencies in our ACT health system) would have no objection to such a scheme.
Here’s a chance for the Canberra Liberals to gazump Labor on health policy but then again, do the Canberra Liberals really want to win government (by default)?
It would probably stop all the border-hoppers going into TCH ED for a start. They will elect to go to bulk billing facilities in surrounding NSW.

Mysteryman 1:44 pm 04 Feb 15

neanderthalsis said :

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

Hear, hear.

What are the ACT government doing regarding the cost of GP visits, other than trying to pass the buck to the Federal government?

neanderthalsis 1:19 pm 04 Feb 15

Hurrah! Go team! ACT Health is obviously doing a fantastic job…

Simon does forget to mention that we have the lowest rate of bulk billing in the country, the highest cost to see a GP, the second highest recurrent expenditure per capita, the second lowest patient satisfaction and the second longest waiting times in the country.

These must be all the fault of the Abbott Government and their evil co-payment… It is little wonder that Katie jumped ship to pursue a job that will protect her from scrutiny.

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