GP bulk-billing rate hits record

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Health minister Greg Hunt says GP bulk billing rates under Medicare hit a record high of 86.2 per cent for the full year of 2018-19. 

"Since 2012-13, bulk billing rates have increased by four full percentage points from 82.2 per cent, and is further proof Medicare is stronger than ever before under this Government," said Mr Hunt.

"The latest figure - up 0.1 percentage point compared to last year - was the fourth consecutive quarter last financial year to achieve a record, and is evidence more Australians are visiting their doctor without having to pay a cent.

"Patients made 136.5 million bulk billed GP visits in 2018-19, up 3.3 million on the previous financial year.

"The bulk billing rate for total Medicare services reached 79.2 per cent for 2018-19, up 0.2 percentage points compared to the previous year, and up 2.7 percentage points from 76.5 per cent in 2012-13," he said.

Mr Hunt said the total cost of all Medicare services in 2018-19 was $24.1 billion - an increase of 3.5 per cent on the previous year.