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Tuesday, 15 June 2004
Page: 23694


Senator McLucas asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, upon notice, on 2 March 2004:

(1) What percentage of total unreferred general practitioner (GP) attendances were bulk billed in the Federal Electoral Division of Kennedy during the quarter ending 31 December 2003.

(2) How many unreferred GP attendances were bulk billed in the Federal Electoral Division of Kennedy during the quarter ending 31 December 2003.

(3) What was the average patient contribution per service (patient billed services only) in relation to unreferred GP attendances in the Federal Electoral Division of Kennedy during the quarter ending 31 December 2003.

(4) How many unreferred GP attendances were there in the Federal Electoral Division of Kennedy during the quarter ending 31 December 2003.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Medicare statistics by electorate are no longer produced on a quarterly basis. Statistics by electorate are available on a calendar year basis.

(1) The proportion of total unreferred GP attendances bulk billed for the electoral division of Kennedy in 2003 was 59.3%.

(2) The number of total unreferred GP attendances bulk billed for the electoral division of Kennedy in 2003 was 303,305.

(3) The average patient contribution per patient billed service for unreferred GP attendances in the electoral division of Kennedy in 2003 was $13.95.

(4) The number of unreferred GP attendances for the electoral division of Kennedy in 2003 was 511,791.

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Notes to the Statistics

These statistics relate to non-referred (general practitioner) attendances that were rendered on a 'fee-for-service' basis and for which benefits were processed by the Health Insurance Commission in 12 months to December 2003 (year of processing). Excluded are details of non-referred attendances to public patients in hospital, to Department of Veterans' Affairs patients and some compensation cases.

Average out of pocket costs relate to non-hospital patient billed services, and are the difference between aggregate fees charged and aggregate benefits paid, divided by the number of services. It is not possible to compute accurate statistics on the average patient contribution per service for patient billed services in hospital, since the Medicare system does not record gap payments under private health insurance arrangements.

The statistics were compiled from Medicare data by patient enrolment (mailing address) postcode. Where a postcode overlapped electoral boundaries, the statistics were allocated to electorate using a concordance file derived from Population Census data, showing the proportion of the population of each postal area, in each electorate.