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100 Surfcoast Highway, Torquay

Why is my GP charging a fee?

1 (Demo)

You may have noticed that your GP has changed their billing practices recently. Below is some information as to why they are doing this.

It is important to understand that the Medicare rebate is YOUR payout from the Government to help YOU pay for your healthcare.

This rebate has nothing to do with the ACTUAL COST of your healthcare. The Australian Medical Association currently recommends that the private fee for an item 23 is $86, which is MORE THAN DOUBLE the rebate amount. It is for this reason that many Bulk Billing clinics across Australia are not surviving by accepting only this amount for a consultation that comes under this item number.

We too at Surfcoast Medical cannot continue to accept the rebate amount for the volume of patients that we have been up until now. In order to continue to provide 15 minute consultations and a high level of care to our patients, we need to be charging a private fee.

If you are experiencing severe financial difficulty, please discuss this with your treating doctor. Billing and fees remain at the discretion of each individual doctor.

The link below will take you to a publication by the Australian Society of General Practice which goes into more detail about the history of Medicare rebates compared to rising costs of living over the last 35 years. It also talks about how privately owned clinics, like Surfcoast Medical Centre are not immune to the rising costs of living. As a small business we are paying more for our staff, our rent has increased, our clinical supplies are more expensive and the general up keep of our clinic is costing us more.

Our primary focus at SCM is to continue to offer the best healthcare services that we can, hold onto the General Practitioners that we have and continue to attract more General Practitioners in the future to cater for our large community. We appreciate your understanding of our position and do encourage you to tell your local federal MP you want your rebate restored, the freezes and the cuts reversed.

More information.