Almost nine out of 10 visits to the doctor last year were provided with no out-of-pocket cost for the patient under Medicare, Health Minister Greg Hunt says.
This included 165.6 million fully subsidised GP services, a rise of 17 million or 11.4 per cent compared to 2020.
Mr Hunt said the Morrison government’s commitment to Medicare is “rock solid” and we continue to support the health and wellbeing of Australians more than ever.
“Through the 2021/22 budget, our government is investing $125.7 billion, up over $6 billion over the forward estimates, as part of our ongoing commitment to guarantee Medicare,” Mr Hunt said.
“This increased investment in Medicare also includes more than $65 million from January 1 2022 to boost bulk billing rebates and provide more affordable healthcare particularly for patients in regional, rural, and remote areas.”
The introduction of telehealth, which is now a permanent feature of Medicare, continues to have a critical role in maintaining patients access to care.
Since its inception in March 2020, over 96 million telehealth services have been delivered to 16.8 million patients.
The number of services being bulk billed has also risen, with 413.2 million medical services being bulk billed to Medicare in 2021, 54.9 million more than 2020.