MORE patients in Hasluck are seeing their doctor without paying, with the bulk-billing rate increasing to 85.8 per cent in the first half of the 2017-18 year.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the percentage represented the highest GP bulk-billing rate on record for the July to December period.
The Member for Hasluck said GP bulk billing was up from 73.4 to 84.9 per cent in his electorate.
“In total, more than 65.9 million bulk billed GP visits were provided to patients over this time period, an extra 3.1 million services compared to last year,” he said.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the cost of Medicare services in the six month period was $11.6 billion, with the bulk-billing rate for services increasing in every state and territory.
He said the Government had to reduce the cost of private health insurance and address out-of-pocket costs.
A committee chaired by Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy will investigate out-of-pocket options to ensure consumers are better informed of fees before agreeing to treatment.