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GP bulk-billing rate.



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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Health and Ageing

Tony Abbott MHR

11 November 2005 ABB137/05

GP bulk-billing rate

The Commonwealth Government’s measures to strengthen Medicare have resulted in strong GP bulk-billing rates, figures for the September quarter 2005 released today show.

The GP bulk-billing rate rose to 74.9 per cent in the September quarter, the highest it has been since the December quarter of 2001. A new record has been set, with the rate of GP bulk-billing for people under 16 years of age reaching 82.2 per cent, the highest rate for this age group since Medicare began more than 20 years ago.

Increases in GP bulk-billing rates occurred in all states and territories in the September quarter, compared with the December quarter 2003 - the last full quarter prior to the introduction of the Howard Government’s Strengthening Medicare package.

Compared with the December 2003 quarter, the September quarter rate in NSW was up 5.5 percentage points to 81.2 per cent; up 12.8 points in South Australia to 73.4 per cent; up 8.9 points in Victoria to 72.5 per cent; up 10.7 points in Queensland to 72.4 per cent; up 7.4 points in Western Australia to 69.9 per cent; up 19.4 points in Tasmania to 67.8 per cent; up 2.5 points in the Northern Territory to 62.7 per cent; and up 5.7 points in the ACT to 40.6 per cent.

These increases underline the impact of the government’s bulk-billing incentive payments, under which GPs who bulk bill Commonwealth Concession Card holders and children under 16 receive an extra $5.15 or $7.85 (depending on their location).

All bulk-billing data is available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/publishing.nsf/Content/medicare+statistics-1 or www.medicareaustralia.gov.au

Media contact: Claire Kimball, 0413 486 926