Many people are concerned about the rising costs of living. One of those costs can be the cost of medical care. Often, but not always, cost and value align (so something that costs more is worth more and is of higher quality, and vice versa).
General Practice in Australia is both efficient and excellent with nearly 90% of Australians seeing a GP at least once a year and this delivering world leading outcomes at a good price. Still, the Medicare Rebate for patients has not kept up with the rising costs of providing medical care and running a medical practice and so out of pocket costs have gone up for patients.
Dr Kris Eliza says it well:
Touchy subject, but this is why I don’t bulk bill. This is why GPs charge money.
This is what your fee goes towards.
Reception, admin, nursing, cleaning, and other staff are paid by our income.
Medical equipment, business requirements and expenses, training, insurance,
registration fees, professional memberships,
rental costs, electricity, internet, telephones,SMS, IT, security, accreditation…
Let’s say we privately bill you for 15 minutes. The business gets $34 to cover all
of the above. If we bulk bill you, the business gets $15.
If we bulk bill, the business’s best interest is for us to see more people per hour.
Hence, 7 minute medicine.
The cost of being a doctor is high.
Unlike some other specialists, GPs do not get annual, sick, maternity/paternity,
or professional development leave.
We aren’t paid for time not seeing patients,
so every call from an allied health professional, every pharmacist,
every other specialist – it’s unpaid work.
I’m not money hungry. I do think that I get fairly compensated for my work
when I don’t bulk bill.
But this is why we can’t “just do things” in our “spare time” at work.
This is why we, as a collective, are frustrated by the Medicare Squeeze.
General Practice is sometimes (not always) considered “lazy”. The “easy specialty”.
The “back up plan”
The general population don’t see us as specialists, like they do a cardiologist
or endocrinologist or gynaecologist.
The general population don’t want to pay for our services.
It’s so demoralising to put your heart and soul into a job that no one wants to value.
Patients Medicare rebates are set by politicians, an increasing number of whom are lawyers. Lawyers often point to pro bono services they provide for the poor and disadvantaged and here we come to the first thing you probably didn’t know:
“Pro bono” comes from the Latin phrase “pro bono publico” which means “for the public good”. In the legal context it generally means the provision of legal services on a free or significantly reduced fee basis.
Now for the second thing you probably didn’t know:
Almost every GP in Australia is providing pro bono work on a daily basis when they bulk bill patients.
The patients Medicare rebate, which a GP accepts as full payment for professional services if bulk billing, is less than half the recommended professional fee for most GP services.
An election is coming. Let your politician know that your health shouldn’t depend on pro bono work from your GP.
It’s your Medicare Rebate.
You deserve better.
You know it. Make them know it too.
Contact them below
PartridgeGP works with you to help you make your best health decisions, and we won’t back away from being your companion, guide, advisor, and sounding board through your health journey. We pride ourselves on great communication and we’re ready to share our professional skills and knowledge with you. This is only MORE important now, in the time of a global pandemic with a new vaccine on the horizon. The way forward is clear: make your appointment with us conveniently online right here – or call our friendly reception team on 82953200.
Where to from here?
For everyone, we believe that having a usual GP or General Practice is central to each person’s care and recommend that people with any health issues that come to the attention of other health professionals should be advised to attend their usual GP or General Practice rather than a specialised service (ie a place not providing the holistic care a specialist GP would). If they say that they don’t have a usual GP or general practice, they should be helped to find one and to actually attend it. Call PartridgeGP on 82953200 or make an appointment online here.
(Hat tip: Dr Oliver Frank)
(TL;DR – Get a regular GP or General Practice and use them!)
If you’re employed, get a side hustle and get into business. If you’ve already got a business, get a network. Want to get started? Find your tribe here!
If you are a great GP or a great Allied Health Professional, and you want to serve your clients or patients to the best of your ability, without worrying about all the non clinical things that get in your way, lets talk. Call Dr Nick Tellis on 8295 3200 and have a coffee and chat with us as to how PartridgeGP can help you to help others.