MORE patients in the Murray electorate are seeing their doctor without having to reach for their wallet, with GP bulk-billing rates for the 2016-17 financial year at 83.7 per cent.
This is a huge increase compared to the 2010-11 financial year under the former Labor Government, which was at just 69.3 per cent in Murray.
Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said it is great to have so many more people accessing Medicare in the electorate.
“Access to Medicare is a high priority for people who live in rural and regional Australia. It is important that the federal government can continue to provide the opportunity for people in the country to access this world-renowned system.
The national rate of 85.7 per cent is the highest bulk-billing rate for any financial year since the inception of Medicare. Last financial year, under the Coalition, Australian patients received 21 million more bulk-billed GP visits than under Labor’s last year in government in 2012-13.
“Last election there was a lot of rhetoric around Medicare with the misleading ‘MediScare’ campaign emanating from the Labor party. However, the Coalition Government’s commitment to Medicare is rock-solid, with funding increasing each and every year from $23 billion in 2017-18, to $28 billion in 2020-21,” Mr Drum said.
The total cost of all Medicare benefits paid the last financial year was $22.0 billion – an increase of 4.2% in benefits paid.
“The Coalition Government will continue to make sure Medicare is strengthened into the future, so it can be accessed by generations to come. The figures released by the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services show that Medicare is stronger than ever,” Mr Drum said.
“Universal access to medical services, public hospitals and medicines through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)is something that Australians rightly expect and something which we are delivering on.
“The Turnbull-Joyce government has an iron-clad commitment to Medicare, bulk billing and the PBS and ensuring all Australians regardless of their location can access these benefits,” Mr Drum said.