It’s really here: the GP will cost us from next week 771



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It’s been talked about for so long and it’s been a case of “will they?”, “won’t they?”, but now, we will be paying for our doctor’s visit beginning next week.

Changes to Medicare will take affect from January 19, meaning we may have to front a $20 fee to see our GP. There is a little-known “10-minute” rule which means if your appointment is under 10 minutes, Medicare will now pay $20.10 less to the practice for your consultation than they used to. This translates to a fee that could be passed on to the patient (at the doctors surgery’s discretion).

For many years, Medicare has footed $37.05 towards “Level B” visits which so many of us need every year – from a new prescription to a check-up after surgery – but now they have cut this back to $16.95. Doctors are saying that this will “destroy” our healthcare system.

So does this mean we’ll now feel like a burden when we need to go to the doctor for a quick visit? Will be need to draw out our appointment to 11 minutes? What will this do to waiting room times?

If you’re assuming this won’t apply to bulk billing consultations, it is exactly what it will apply to, sadly. Dr Michael Levick, a spokesman for the AMA’s Victorian branch told SMH that, “This change alone will kill off a lot of bulk-billing…This is a very sly way of cutting the [health] budget”.

Where there was previously no gap to visit a bulk billing doctor, there will now potentially be a $20.10 fee, depending on your doctor.

According to chair of the AMA’s council of general practice Brian Morton, it is also possible that doctors and their patients could stretch consultations out to meet the 10-minute threshold for a rebate of $37.05, meaning GPs would see fewer patients on average a day, making them less accessible to patients trying to book an appointment.


What will the payment mean for you? How will it change how often you go to the doctor? Can you afford it? Tell us below.

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  1. Gonna be a lot of sick people out there

    8 REPLY
    • they are a bunch of fools

      1 REPLY
      • Fools indeed, what will happen is that the emergency departments will be clogged up and the more seriously ill patients will be waiting longer, it will turn into a 24 hour Panadol Club. Furthermore the consultant I work for only charges out of pocket expenses for the first visit, all subsequent visits are bulk billed and the fee is less than what some GPs charge for a 10 minute visit.

        1 REPLY
        • As well as clogging up already over-crowded emergency departments, sick patients will be spreading their germs to anyone else in the waiting room and potentially the whole hospital.

    • this government dont care if your sick or if you can afford to seek medical treatment, they only care about what they can scam from tax payers and what they can get either by stealing which is what most of them do by misuse of credit cards given to them yeah right, honesty is not what abbott and his cronnies are about. they will keep on taking from us until we ALL stand up and voice how we feel

    • I go to the quack 3 times in a year on a bad year. Such it up you pussies. We need this to ensure emergency services are still there. Labor screwed all this up.

    • NO labor bought in medicare..the Abbott Government is in power now and they can afford to waste money on jets and war and all the while they rort us

  2. More people will now use Dr Google

    3 REPLY
  3. I live outside the Sydney Metro area and if we go to the Doctor here it costs $70.50 BUT they refund the medicare figure of $34.00 so it costs us around $36.00 out of our pocket & they are considering putting UP the fee.

    Christ they are essentially charging $280.00 per hour, but no-one actually questions this charge the Doctors are getting. How much are they going to put OUR charges up to now?? This effectively stops me going to the doctor now, much less if the charges are increased.

    3 REPLY
    • That $280 per hour has to cover their wages, their staffs wages, insurance, medical equipment, rent, electricity, water, and all the other miscellaneous costs associated with running a medical practice.
      Plus, we put our lives in their hands and they have studied for years to gain the qualifications they have. Plus they have to have ongoing training to keep their qualifications up to date.

    • Still does NOT justify the cost of seeing a Doctor…sorry. Seeing a doctor for what all of 10 minutes if you are lucky. So as I have no income as my partner is the only one working we will not be able to afford to go to the doctor. As we are ageing hope there is no serious unidentified illness as we can’t afford to address it at all.

      So thinking about your comment Ruth, doctors who do bulk bill only get the scheduled Medicare fee of $37.50 & can manage to run a practice, but the ones who do not bulk bill charge US the patient a fee of currently $70.50 going up to $90.00 for a 10 minute visit???? Sorry can’t see how this works at all. So it will cost US the patient $70.00 out of our pocket, does no-one see this as ludicrous? What are the government doing about this for anyone out of the main cities? We don’t have bulk billing at all. Therefore the Doctors will be charging $360.00 per hour????

      Oh, when I was trying to find a practice in my area, this lovely big practice at Raymond Terrace advised you have to pay $70.50 BEFORE you see the doctor when making an appointment, so if you wanted to see them for Skin cancer (which IS bulk billed) in case you had other issues they would refund only you at the end of the appointment. WTF? Suffice to say I would NOT be going to that practice no matter how urgent.

      WHEN is this stupid NLP party going to be stopped? $90.00 for a visit to a doctor? You have got to be joking.

      1 REPLY
      • We have a couple friends who are doctors. One works a 12 hour day once a week assisting in surgery. Her salary. $10,000. the other works two nights a week at a hospital his salary is $8,000 plus the medicare payment he gets from consulting with patients while on shift.. Both drive new cars, have large properties, a town house, overseas holidays each year, .. Maybe uit is the Drs who whould start looking at cuttin g their cost.`

    • Why aren’t the news feeds asking these question? Why doesn’t Kochie ask their mate (you know the fat, arrogant fool Hockey) why they are trying to get rid of Medicare? Why they are targeting the people who can ill afford it?

      I don’t see this issue on the news at all and it affects so many people.

  4. We were telling people this 6 months ago but the LNP faithful called us scaremongers. Well, now it is happening.
    We don’t have bulk billing doctors in our town. Our dictors fees will be going up from $75 per visit to $90. The rebate will come down from $36:75 to around $20. So instead of having to find $39:25 to visit the doctor, we will have to find around $70.
    Many pensioners and low income earners will no longer be able to afford to even get their prescriptions renewed because of the cost. They will not be able to get necessary medications and will end up a bigger burden on the public hospital system as they end up in hospital.
    Another blow for low income people and the elderly and the sick.

    25 REPLY
    • Tell the truth! or don’t you know the truth? it is only charged if the doctor spends less than ten minutes with a patient

    • Robyn Morton.
      To get a script renewed takes around 5 minutes. So maybe you need to get your facts right before labelling someone a liar….

    • We mostly only go to the doctors for scripts but now I will be going with a list of things to be checked, so that it takes more than ten minutes and those in the waiting room will just keep waiting and those who need to see a doctor will have to wait because most people will be doing the same thing. Instead of booking in a few days prior it will be a few weeks!!!!

    • well said Ruth..this will annoy many many people after I come to type here, I am going to ring my doctor to see if he bulk bill..if not well I have appointments I won’t be going to

    • Robyn Morton I was taken of the carers pension as my 81 year old mother ownes her home – I now live on roughly $570 per 2 wks – I have to take 3 different scripts – as well as applying for jobs and caring for someone who has osteoporosis and is blind! your rude comment is very hurtful and uneducated to say the least!

    • It shouldn’t mean the doc charges more (unless they normally bulk bill) it means the Medicare rebate will be less!!!

    • If you are on medication for life … Ask your pharmacy & doctor because I am sure that you can get long term prescriptions ….is anyone out there can relay correct information

    • if you are losing money because the rebate will be less then of course you are going to recoup it from your patients.

    • for some scripts you have to see the Doctor before it is renewed. My husband is on one of those! No repeats on the script, he has to go regularly to see the Doctor for it.

    • I think there are a few facts missing here. Firstly the “short consult time” has never been followed by most Drs. Before going on the “aged pension”, I used to pay the full price for a consult, be it for renewal of scripts, or discussing the lab.tests results (all under 10 mins., after being in the waiting rm for 60+ mins.). I must say that if on “maintenance medications”, a repeat script for 6 months is given, so no need to see the GP monthly! Secondly, when I qualified for the “aged pension”, my GP bulk-bills MEDICARE, still having consults for under 10 minutes, but the waiting time in his surgery is still 60+ minutes! I look @ this from another point of view; his full charge for a “10-mins” consult time, makes up for the “longer consult time” he has with other patients less fortunate than me, with myriad of medical/surgical conditions!

    • Wrong wrong & wrong pensioners won’t be paying a cent to see a GP and prescriptions are still subsidised by the government !!! Learn the facts before opening your mouth !!

      1 REPLY
      • I am a pensioner and have to pay $85 already to see my GP – no bulk billing here.

    • Pam
      I am a pensioner and i currently pay $75 to see a doctor. Your facts are wrong. It’s you who needs to learn the facts.

      1 REPLY
      • This came up on my page for some reason !!
        You’re obviously stupid for not going to a ‘bulk billing practice’

    • So true. I’m worried that LNP will be re-elected in Qld. This could be the impetus for GST on our food too. Put LNP last. That really is where they have placed YOU!

    • This is on the news from my area, every area will be the same
      Association chairman Tony Isaac said more than 100 local GPs were at last night’s meeting.
      “Practices will be forced to privately charge everyone, regardless of whether they have a concession card holder or not, because the rebates are just so low that they just don’t meet the cost of running the practices.” This was the biggest turn out for doctors my area has ever had

    • Not sure what planet you are on Pam Selleck … just who do you think will make up the difference once the Medicare rebates are reduced? …

      1 REPLY
      • I’m on earth .. Where are you ? I’ve been going to a bulk billing doctor for years ! Why aren’t you ? Why are you such a whinger ??

    • Ruth can you not find a Dr. Who bulk bills.
      They are out there and they are here where I live but I choose to travel 30 mins to another town to a Dr. I like and am bulk billed.

    • Ruth Hourigan, if you’re paying $75-00 to see a doctor ,you’re being ripped off. Go to a bulk bill doctor and it costs you nothing except Medicare levy. I don’ t think you should be advising others on here if you don’t know anything. Any fool knows if you go to bulk bill doctor, you pay nothing!!

    • Didn’t see you complaining under Labor.
      The only change is the doctor will have to spend 4 extra minutes looking after your health.

      4 minutes and everyone wants to blame Abbott who is left with the incredible Labor debt and deficit mess to try and fix.

    • Christine O’Shea. Where I live we DO NOT have any bulk billing doctors. The nearest one is 50klms away and we do not have any public transport. So looks like you are the fool you idiot. Not everyone lives in the big cities. Some of us are out here in the country providing you with things like fruit and vegs and meat and dairy etc.

  5. We need to get rid of this govt NOW!! I was going to put in some adjectives bit thought better of it!! 😉 At the moment we only go to drs for scripts a few times a year so it won’t have a huge effect but as we get older we will most probably need to go more often (especially if we get a serious ailment) and the cost will make a difference to our standard of living!!!

    9 REPLY
    • I am not a political person, but I have sent an email to our Federal and State members telling them how I feel. Sooooo angry!

    • We already pay Barry. It’s called the Medicare levy. If this pathetic government would clamp down on the real leaners, the wealthy tax dodgers (individual and corporate), we could better afford to pay for our world class health system, for everybody.

    • your not the only one Jan..I just rang my doctor, and it took ages to get through, she told me the phone had been ringing all morning about this

    • omg you can’t even sleep in peace, I have been up all night with pain in my knees, only to finally get to sleep for a few hours and wake up to this..We will have to suffer for 15 months before we can vote them out..and vote these mongrels out we will.. they may make us suffer and pay but paybacks are a bitch and we owe them plenty

    • If you are seeing a doctor now and he is charging you $75 to see him and that you are on a pension well he or she are the ones you need to be cross at as they are overcharging you they need to be shamed into bulk billing you.

    • Looks as if the LNP is staying, so we have to live with it. Queenslanders voted them in. Start saving for you next visit to the doctor

    • I would much rather have Labor in government destroying our countries future on every front…. you go to the dentist, you pay. you go to the supermarket, you pay. The money has to come from somewhere and with the amount of people on welfare in this country, and the number of people who just whinge because they are too stupid to see the real underlying issues i do not see a bright future for quite some time

  6. Let’s be positive. Maybe the doctors will spend more time with each patient and do a more thorough examination. I have only been bulk billed once and my so called super clinic does not bulk bill in spite of this having been the plan when these super clinics were established. Let us wait to see how things pan out and not jump to all the conclusions.

    2 REPLY
    • there is nothing postive about a backdoor attempt by the LNP to dismantle medicare, all the ALP has to do now is say will restore it and they have probably won the next election. Many will poor people and those with chronic health problems will be affected by this

  7. well if my dr tells me I have to pay $20 I will walk out.. I don’t have any xtra money how do they expect pensioners to pay that amount plus prescriptions as well??? I go without some diabetic tablets now to make them stretch further … who ever voted for these imbiciles need their heads red..

  8. Both me and my husband tend to go together for scripts and $40 out of our pension sorry the pun we kill us
    We have been bulked billed up to now who knows why can’t nurses do blood pressure checks that’s all I ever get done
    I refuse blood test as I cannot afford them unless the dr feels it is something that needs look at

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