Increased Bulk Billing Incentive Payments are a Welcome Initiative for Regional, Rural & Remote Australia


9 May 2023


The increased bulk billing incentive will be a major benefit for primary healthcare in regional, rural & remote Australia and will help retain and attract GPs into those areas. The benefits will be much lower for metro Australians.

A short consultation in remote Australia is now funded at $79.40, but a metro Australian is only worth $60.40. With metro fee rates already at over $90 the opportunity cost for a doctor to bulk bill in metro Australia is approximately $30.

The Australian GP Alliance is pleased that the Commonwealth Government is attempting to increase access to primary healthcare for vulnerable Australians and restructure support for chronic disease management. It is vital that any new scheme does not diminish access of care for the 50% of Australians living with a chronic disease.

The Commonwealth Government must work with States & Territories to stop taxing Commonwealth Medicare patient payments and all medical professional fees. Until this is done the good intent from this budget will be unsuccessful.

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Monkey Pox Declared a Notifiable Disease of National Significance

On 28 July 2022 the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly declared Monkeypox (MPX) to be a Communicable Disease of National Significance . The Chief Medical Officer’s statement is here

Monkeypox, also known as MPX, is a disease caused by the Monkeypox virus or MPXV. It is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus which causes smallpox. MPX symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder and rarely fatal. Most people will recover in 2-4 weeks.

More severe cases, while rare, can occur among children and people with compromised immunity.

A DoH fact sheet  is here

The Department of Health and Aging have developed a resources page here

ATAGI clinical guidance on vaccination  is available here

North Queensland Pharmacy Trial

North Queensland Pharmacy Trial

By an AGPA writer

Some medical trials are so immediately successful that it becomes unethical to continue them. It would be unethical to deny the placebo-takers an obviously efficacious treatment.

Other medical trials are so immediately harmful with dangerous side effects that it also becomes unethical to continue them.

And yet other medical trials are so obviously misconceived that they should never even begin. In this category can be placed the Queensland Government’s proposed trial in the state’s north to give pharmacists the power and wherewithal to both diagnose 23 illnesses and to prescribe treatments (about 150 different drugs) for them.

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AGPA Senate Submission

The Australian General Practice Alliance  (AGPA) has made a submission to the Senate Enquiry regarding:

The provision of general practitioner (GP) and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australians, with particular reference to:

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