THE HON STEPHEN JONES MP
MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM
MEMBER FOR CUNNINGHAM
There’s been an increase of 4.5% in bulk-billing rates at local GPs in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands since the Albanese Government tripled the bulk-billing incentive on 1 November last year.
In October, before the incentive was tripled, 72.4 % of all GP visits were bulk-billed across the region. By December that figure increased to 76.9%.
It’s part of the Government’s $6.1 billion Strengthening Medicare reforms - the largest investment in bulk billing in Medicare’s 40-year history.
It comes after a decade of cuts and neglect to Medicare by the former Government that began when Peter Dutton froze Medicare rebates as Health Minister. Under Labor, bulk-billing has now stabilised and begun to rise again, enabling local GPs to bulk-bill more patients.
The increase in the bulk-billing rate means an estimated 12,700 additional trips to the GP were bulk-billed in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands in November and December, saving locals an estimated $480,000 in gap fees and helping to ease the cost of living.
As Parliament returns next week, cost of living remains the focus with the Albanese Government committed to legislating tax cuts for working Australians. From July 1, everyone in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands will receive a tax cut.
In the electorate of Cunningham, 84% of taxpayers will receive a bigger tax cut, while in the electorate of Whitlam, 87% of taxpayers will be better off under the Albanese Government.
Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones and Member for Cunningham Alison Byrnes will continue to call on the Liberals and Nationals to drop their opposition to Labor’s stage three tax cuts, and their shameful plan to roll it back.
Quotes attributable to Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones:
“These latest figures show bulk-billing rates in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands have increased after the Coalition neglected Medicare for a decade. This is great news for local patients, doctors and the health system.”
“Our Government is focused on continuing to deliver cost of living relief to locals, which includes strengthening Medicare and providing tax cuts. Alison and I call on the Opposition to move out of the way and support Australians who are doing it tough.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Cunningham Alison Byrnes:
“Labor built Medicare and only Labor can be trusted to strengthen and protect it. People in the Illawarra have saved $480,000 in gap fees in November and December because of the Albanese Government’s investment in Medicare.”
“Our tax cuts are putting money back into the pockets and providing real relief for local families. We know that people are doing it tough and we are focused on taking pressure off where we can through things like cheaper medicines, fee-free TAFE places and building more social and affordable housing.”