Today, the Albanese Government’s planned increase of Medicare payments to bulk billing doctors goes into effect. Now, when bulk billing concession card holders, children under 16 and pensioners, doctors are now eligible for up to three times as much money from bulk billing. In both metropolitan and rural areas, doctors’ payment rates are going up in order to encourage them to continue bulk billing.
The Albanese Government hopes that this reform will make finding a bulk billing doctor easier for up to eleven million people around the country. At $1.5 billion, the funding required makes this reform the largest increase to Medicare payments since the Keating Government.
The Australian Medical Association has been vocal about the need for this kind of reform, to put money back into the Medicare system in order to make general practitioner roles more appealing for doctors. As such, this incentive is a direct benefit to them, as it allows doctors to continue making money in a cost of living crisis.