Australian doctors will be charging more for their services from next month.
And because many are dumping bulk billing as well, many patients could be 41 dollars out of pocket.
Roisin O’Sullivan reports.
The AMA today asked for a 2 dollar hike to GP fees… raising the cost of a standard doctor’s appointment to 78 dollars.
They say the increase is necessary.
Dr Richard Kidd, AMA Qld: “The costs for providing a general practice like this are going up and up and up and its come to a tipping point.”
The Government says it recognises the difficult position GPs are in.
Sussan Ley, Health Minister: “We respect and we value that doctors are small businesses that have new scope to set fees according to their wishes and their business model.”
Australians are concerned about the increase… given the Federal government has frozen Medicare rebates since 2014.
Member of public: “That makes me nervous. I’ve got a child of mine on the way so costs can really balloon easily.”
Member of public: “It’s a bit worrying. I mean especially like myself being unemployed at the moment and when you have to go to the doctor and you don’t have the money to go to the doctors its hard.”
The AMA says the possibility that the fee increase will discourage people from seeing their doctor is a concern and they want the freeze on Medicare rebates to be lifted.
Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “The GP’s are saying Bill we don’t want to charge our patients more but Malcolm Turnbull is giving us no choice.”
And there’s more bad news… with Australians expected to pay more for medicines as well.
Roisin O’Sullivan, QUT News.