The Government’s triumphalism about today’s bulk billing figures shows how out of touch they are on Medicare.
As the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has said previously, the statistics the Government is using are “misleading” and “should be rejected”.
That’s because they measure the number of services that are bulk billed, not the number of patients. So they hide the fact that millions of Australians are no longer bulk billed.
These statistics also ignore the fact that out-of-pocket costs have more than doubled.
GPs have the best interests of their patients at heart, and many continued to bulk bill in 2015-16. They had been assured the freeze would be lifted in the Budget, and were watching the outcome of the election.
But now that it’s clear that Malcolm Turnbull’s Medicare freeze is an ice age, practices around Australia are abandoning bulk billing.
For example, the only practice on Magnetic Island in Queensland has advised the Island’s residents that it is abandoning bulk billing due to “Medicare restrictions and cuts”.
Similarly, the Collins and Grosvenor Street General Practices in Hobart have scrapped bulk billing due to the freeze.
Australians know that Malcolm Turnbull’s six year freeze on Medicare rebates is driving bulk billing down and out-of-pocket costs up.
The Government’s insistence otherwise only shows how out of touch they are.
SUNDAY, 28 AUGUST 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: ANDREW GARRETT – 0412 300 994