Only two-thirds of GP patients bulk billed, Dept tells Senate
Contrary to the Federal Government’s insistence that the bulk billing rate stands at 83.7% the figure is actually 64.7%, the Department of Health told senators at an Estimates session in the final week of Parliament for 2016.
This contradicts the Turnbull government’s claim that bulk-billing is at a record high despite the ongoing rebate freeze, the Royal Australian College of GPs says.
More than a third of Australians have paid out of pocket expenses to see their GP in the last year, according to RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel: “Bulk billing numbers have been subject to political spin for too long. What matters to our patients is whether or not they can afford a co-payment for the clinical care of themselves and their families.”
As young people congregate in Byron Bay for ‘schoolies’, new research shows that a greater percentage of the town’s permanent 15years+ population consumes alcohol at risky levels than any other place in Australia.
Moreover, the east coast location regarded as a mecca for healthy practices has been found to have more adult smokers than the national average, and at 59.7% a level of overweight and obesity close to the alarming national average of 62.8%.
More concerning is that the rates of overweight and obese people in Casino (69.4%), and Ballina and Lismore (both 65.2%) were found to be even higher.
The statistics are among those released this week in the Australian Health Policy Collaboration’s Australia’s Health Tracker .
- Written by Dr John Goswell, General Practitioners of Australia
Revalidation is the process of ensuring that doctors are fit to practice medicine. The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA) is engaged in the process of forcing revalidation upon the Australian medical community.
If you have followed the process on the AHPRA website (which you may not have because it was hard to find), you will note the issue has not been whether revalidation should occur but rather in what form. The process to date is summarised at GPA Current Issues. The process has been an open and transparent one but GPs may have difficulty in recalling the notification document sent out by AHPRA. However, there has been little reaction of any kind from the medical community. AHPRA has called for submissions to comment on the proposed revalidation scheme.
- Written by Robin Osborne
The day after Federal Parliament passed the backpacker tax package and rose for the summer vacation, the Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, flew back to the electorate to resume business on the ground.
His first port of call was the Lismore campus of the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH), where, in the company of the Assistant Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie, he met trainee doctors and other health discipline students engaged in local clinical placements.
- Written by Staff
Mr Hogan said the Government has streamlined the former Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants programme to better respond to the needs of regional communities.
“The new Rural General Practice Grants program will allow existing health facilities to provide teaching and training opportunities for a range of health professionals within the practice and for practitioners to develop experience in training and supervising healthcare workers,” he said.