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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23267

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in parliament:

The petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House:

That the rate of bulk billing by GPs has fallen by over 15% in Shortland Electorate since 2000 and is now in serious decline;

That this year, 7.7 million fewer GP visits were bulk billed than in 1996;

That the average out-of-pocket cost to see a GP who does not bulk bill has gone up by 51% since 1996.

That public hospitals are now under greater pressure because people are finding it harder to see bulk billing doctors.

We therefore pray that the House takes urgent steps to restore bulk billing by general practitioners so that all Australians have access to the health care they need.

by Ms Hall (from 231 citizens)