Australians will be forced to pay more than $100 just to see a doctor in a further blow to residents already doing it tough during the cost-of-living crisis.
As of November 1, the majority of Aussies will have to pay the exorbitant price if they want a standard non bulk-billed doctor’s appointments.
The price rise, which will be the third hike in doctor’s fees this year, is a result of a recommendation by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
The AMA suggested the rise to its members as a way of helping doctors cope with the increased costs of running a medical practice.
As of November 1, the majority of Aussies will pay over $100 for standard non bulk-billed doctor’s appointments. Picture: Stock image of a woman visiting her doctor
The price hike comes as the government is set to triple the bulk billing incentive for GPs which will lower prices for some visits to the doctor and lower the cost of some tele-health sessions.
The rebate will only apply to doctors visits for pensioners, welfare recipients and children aged under 16.
In total only an estimated 11 million Australians, out of a total population of 25.7million, are expected to benefit.
A free service called ‘MyMedicare’, which launched earlier this month, will allow patients to formally register their preferred doctor’s clinic and GP, and to receive rebates on the cost of a telehealth appointment with that doctor.
The voluntary scheme only applies to clinics that have also registered and has restored telehealth rebates for remote GP consultations longer than 20 and 40 minutes.
Starting 2024, the scheme will offer payments for doctors who regularly visit aged care residents and patients who frequently attend hospitals who are registered with MyMedicare.
Costs will vary depending on what specific GPs choose to charge, however, it will mean on average Medicare will cover around half of eligible teleheath consultation fees.
MyMedicare is open to anyone with a Medicare card or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs card and eligible patients can register online or in person at their preferred clinic.
The new service was officially introduced on October 1 and will gradually roll out more benefits over the next three years, according to the government.
The price hike comes as the government is set to triple the bulk billing incentive for GPs which will lower prices for some visits to the doctor and lower the cost of some telehealth sessions
Only about 40 per cent of GP clinics across Australia have registered to MyMedicare.
Health Minister Mark Butler said the changes would provide more tailored care and ‘better serve the needs of patients that fall through the cracks.’
‘Patients registered for MyMedicare will gain a stronger relationship with their healthcare teams and more consistent care, including longer telehealth consultations,’ he said.
‘This important reform will also secure the sustainability and efficiency of general practice for the future.’
From November 1, the government will also triple the bulk-billing incentive for doctors treating vulnerable patients, including children and people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.