29 August 2016

The Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann has accused the Turnbull Government of trying to hoodwink Ipswich and Somerset residents after Health Minister Susan Ley yesterday attempted to claim an increase in bulk-billing numbers.

Mr Neumann said that in an effort to cover up just how damaging their attacks on Medicare have been, the Government have resorted to using deceptive and disingenuous figures.

"As the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has said previously, the statistics the Government is using are misleading and should be rejected”, Mr Neumann said.

“By measuring the number of services that are bulk billed, not the number of patients, the government is hiding the fact that millions of Australians are no longer bulk billed.

“These statistics also ignore the fact that out-of-pocket costs have more than doubled.”

Mr Neumann said that with the Government's freeze showing no signs of being lifted, the number of GP’s using bulk-billing would continue to fall.

“After being assured that the freeze on Medicare would be lifted, many GP’s continued to bulk-bill, while waiting for the outcome of the election. Since then however, it has become clear that the Government has no intention of ending this freeze.

"As a result, medical practices right across Australia are being forced to abandon bulk-billing, placing even more pressure on already struggling families to meet the costs of basic healthcare.

“Unless the Government starts to seriously look at lifting this freeze, Ipswich and Somerset residents, who are already having to pay more in out-of-pocket expenses, might start to lose access to bulk-billing altogether.”