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Bulk billing rates hit record level in WA

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An increased number of Australians are attending General Practitioner (GP) appointments without reaching into their pockets, with GP bulk billing rates in WA under Medicare hitting a record high of 85.3 per cent for the full year of 2018-19.

Since 2012-13, GP bulk billing rates in WA have increased by 12.4 per cent from 72.9 per cent, proving Medicare is stronger than ever under a Morrison Government.

Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter said the new GP bulk billing figures were “evidence more people in Pearce are visiting their doctor without having to pay a cent.”

“By increasing our investment in Medicare, the Federal Liberal Government is ensuring it supports quality health care,” Mr Porter said.

Patients made 136.5 million bulk billed GP visits nationally in 2018-19, up 3.3 million on the previous financial year.

Australians also accessed 335.8 million bulk billed services including GP, specialist, pathology and diagnostic imaging services in 2018–19, up 8.9 million more than the record set last year. The total cost of all Medicare services in 2018-19 was $24.1 billion, an increase of 3.5 per cent in benefits paid.

On 1 July this year, the Government increased the patient rebate for further GP items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, indexing specialist procedures, allied health services and other GP services such as mental health and after hour’s services.

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world, founded on Medicare. These figures show Medicare, under the Federal Liberal Government is supporting the health and wellbeing of Australians more than ever.