Patients being charged for visiting their GP

The number of GPs abandoning the bulk-billing scheme is increasing with many patients being left out of pocket.

Although no-gap schemes are becoming more accessible to specialists, more patients receiving treatment from their local GP are increasingly incurring gap payments. The proportion of bulk-billed services received out of hospital, which includes treatment by GPs, has decreased from 79.1 per cent in 1999/2000 to 77.6 per cent in 2000/2001.

The AMA said these figures clearly support their argument that the government should increase payments to doctors, calling for a $1.5 billion increase in Medicare payments.

Sydney Morning Herald, p6, 31/8/01