The cost of seeing a doctor is about to go up.
The Australian Medical Association has recommended that GPs lift fees by $2 to $78 for a standard consultation from November.
Medicare rebates will be frozen at $37 until 2020, saving the government nearly $1 billion, states a doctor fee update.
“The freeze is an enormous burden on hardworking GPs,” AMA vice-president Tony Bartone said on Wednesday.
“Practices cannot continue absorbing the increasing costs of providing quality care year after year.”
But the federal government insists this recommendation has nothing to do with its extended freeze on Medicare rebates. Health Minister Sussan Ley said it was up to doctors how much they charge patients.
“We respect and value that doctors are small businesses and they have scope to set their fees according to their wishes, their business model and their patient cohort,” she told reporters at Parliament House.
Ms Ley said the prime minister’s pre-election declaration that no one would pay more to see a GP because of the rebate freeze was underpinned by a record-high bulk billing rate.
However, Dr Bartone said it was now inevitable many GPs would review their decision to bulk bill some patients, reveals an update on doctor fees.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said GPs were being squeezed to breaking point. “The GPs have tried to hold the line but they are finding it too hard,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Online Source: SBS Hindi.