GP fees to rise from 1 November

Today the AMA prepares to recommend a hike in GP fees and the standard cost of a 20-minute visit to the doctor is expected to rise from 1 November.

Doctors will raise fees to $78, meaning patients will be $40.95 out of pocket per visit with the Medicare rebate frozen at the 2014 level of $37.05. The rebate freeze is in place until 2020 with Medicare statistics showing out-of-pocket expenses to visit a GP rising at 6.5 per cent a year.

According to Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President Dr Bastian Seidel, the Government has underspent on health by $170 million on the final budget outcome statement. Dr Seidel believes that this money should be used to lift the rebate freeze, which would cost $150 million.

The Herald Sun is reporting that, due to the rebate freeze and increased prices, “a flood of doctors” are preparing to abandon the practice of bulk billing.

What do you think? Does the Government need to find the money in the budget to lift the rebate freeze? Will you be forced to reduce or avoid visits to your GP?


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