Media Releases

Turnbull's GP tax hits Southwest Sydney

May 23, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull’s 2017 Budget confirmed that the Liberal’s Medicare freeze will remain in place across the health system for at least another 12 months, and in some cases even longer.  The lifting of the freeze will be staggered over the next two years, with:

  • GP consultation rebates remaining frozen until July 2018.
  • Specialist consultation rebates remaining frozen until July 2018.
  • Specialist procedure rebates remaining frozen until July 2019; and.
  • Allied Health Services, including psychologists and social workers, remaining frozen until July 2019.

Since the Liberal’s introduced their Medicare freeze in December 2014, Australians have been paying more to see their GP and specialists, putting further strain on already stretched household budgets.

The Medicare freeze has also forced doctors to absorb the rising costs of delivering care, or charge an additional fee to their patients to make up the funding shortfall. 

Anne Stanley MP, Member for Werriwa, said the Turnbull Government has always been determined to make Australians pay more to see a GP – and now they have succeeded.

“For years the Government’s freeze has put pressure on local GPs and specialists, and as a result patients are paying more because less medical professionals can afford to bulk bill.” said Ms Stanley.

“Locals in South-west Sydney can’t afford any more barriers to their health, and yet under Malcolm Turnbull, out-of-pocket costs to access health care are higher than ever.”

“As a result of this year’s Budget and the Government’s failure to drop their freeze immediately, things will only get worse for patients who cannot afford gap payments, putting further strain on our already overcrowded emergency department waiting rooms.”