Alternatively, the doctor could chose to bulk bill the patient, in which case the patient would pay nothing and the doctor would bill the government directly for the 85 percent rebate.
None-the-less, the Medibank model allowed some doctors to selectively bulk bill low income patients (often at significant financial gain given the pervasiveness of bad debts at the time), while a minority committed to universalism bulk billed all patients--fragmenting the professions' opposition.
Medicare Plus promised to rectify these problems by recruiting more doctors and, at the same time, giving them additional financial inducements to bulk bill
families with young children and residents of regional areas.
Incentives paid to doctors to encourage them to bulk bill concession card holders and children under the age of 16 will also remain.
Doctors may choose to recoup the $5 rebate reduction through an optional co-payment or continue to bulk bill non-concessional patients over the age of 16.
Only about 28 per cent of medical specialists bulk bill
meaning that a significant number of Australians already pay a portion of their GP bills.
Plastic surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons were the least likely to bulk bill (14% and 17% of services respectively), while fertility and abortion specialists were the most likely (92% of services).
First, specialist medical practitioner services are much less likely to bulk bill compared to general medical practitioners services (40% and 82% respectively).
The Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, said today that in recognition of the doctor shortages in rural and remote areas of NSW, the Australian Government, in agreement with the NSW Government, has granted a special exemption which allows seven more hospitals and health services to engage rural doctors and other health professionals and bulk bill
Medicare for the cost.
TCP encourages the involvement of local GPs, most of whom bulk bill