Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions not answered below, call us on (02) 6654 7717

Medicare is the basis of Australia's health care system and covers many health care costs. It provides you access to several health care services for free or at a lower cost, including:

  • medical services by doctors, specialists and other health professionals
  • hospital treatment
  • prescription medicines

'Bulk billing' means there are no out-of-pocket expenses for the medical services provided to you. If you are bulk billed, it means that your doctor accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment of service. The Medicare Benefits Schedule (the MBS) provides a list of medical services for which the Australian Government will pay a Medicare rebate, to provide patients with financial assistance towards the costs of their medical services. It is unfortunately irrelevant to the actual cost of your healthcare.

'Private billing' or 'mixed billing' simply refers to patients who pay for medical services at their own expense and receive a rebate from Medicare for the item the GP has billed.

GPs are private small business owners similar to your local independent retailer, freelance artist, and tradie. Many GPs do not receive any leave entitlements, neither do they get paid if you do not show up to your appointment.

We always want to deliver exceptional care in a way that fostered trusting relationships between doctors and patients at affordable and quality service. Unfortunately, the Medicare rebate, your rebate, only covers a small portion of the costs of providing high-quality healthcare. Community General Practice is not subsidised by State or Federal Governments, unlike the hospital system. We are a locally owned small business, like many other General practices.

There are many reasons:

• Healthcare costs continue to rise due to the increasing costs of new technologies and consumable healthcare products, and the wages of a skilled labour force.

• Income generated through fees is used to resource primary care teams and upgrade infrastructure. For example, it allows GPs to pay for ancillary staff such as practice nurses, receptionists, quality equipment’s and rental cost.

• The costs of healthcare are not reflected in Medicare patient rebates (the amount the government pays to subsidise GP consultations).

• Between 2010 and 2020, Medicare rebates increased by an average of just over 1% each year.

• Rebates were completely frozen (i.e. did not receive an annual indexation increase from the government) between 2014 and 2018.

• Practice costs are rising by around 3% per year, however in July 2021 the rebate for a standard GP consultation increased by just 35 cents to $39.10. This did not cover the significant increase in costs that had occurred over the course of the rebate freeze.

• The average out-of-pocket cost for patients is now higher than the Medicare rebate for a standard GP consultation at some clinic.

Your health and well being is our priority. We are a community-focused clinic and we understand that our patients have different income levels and health needs. You may contact the Services Australia if you are eligible for a concession card or you may request your GP. Bulk billing in some situations is at the discretion of the individual doctor.

We will review and adjust our fees annually. Patient will be notified 3 months in advance if feeschange during the year in our practice’s notice board.

We appreciate full payment of fees on the day of consultation. Payment can be made after yourconsultation by cash, EFTPOS or credit card. If you’ve registered your banking details withMedicare, our receptionists will be able to process your Medicare claim on the spot. That savesyou the hassle of a separate claims process and ensures the Medicare rebate arrives in youraccount quickly.

Due to Medicare laws, we are not able to accept the gap payment only. For example, if you area concession card holder, for a standard consult you will need to pay $80 and will receive$41.20 back on the spot into your account, leaving you having paid the practice $38.80 for yourvisit to the GP.

In some instances, there may be some additional costs for example if you need to have a procedure done or have further diagnostic interventions, like an ECG or Lung function test.These costs will be discussed with you at the time. Detail of item fees could be requested at reception.

If you are our existing patient and concession card holder, DVA, Indigenous & age under 20,We will continue to accept the Medicare rebate (‘Bulk billing’) for all consultation, so there won’t be an out-of-pocket expense for you. Some procedures such as skin excision, IUD, iron infusion would cost you extra $50 for 30min, $ 75 for 45 mins & $100 for an hour for facilities fees applies to all patients.

If you are our existing patient without concession card, there would be an out-of-pocket expense of $38.80 for standard consultation and $50.30 for long consultation. However, we will continue to accept the Medicare rebate (‘Bulk billing’) for Chronic Disease Management Plans, Mental Health Treatment Plan, Health Assessments and other diagnostics, so there won’t be an out-of-pocket expense for some consultation.

If you do not have a Medicare card, you will be privately billed for all consultations, management plan, health assessments and procedures as well as procedures room fees.

Telehealth appointment will be charged in similar way as face-to-face visit. Patients will be required to pay in advance. A telehealth or in-person appointment is necessary for repeat prescriptions and referral letters. This is to ensure optimal patient care and treatment and to satisfy doctors' medico legal obligations. In most situations, doctor will be providing you an ample repeat script. However, if patient prefers to have a repeat script or referral without consultation, you will be charged $25 without rebate. It would take two working days if the doctor could provide you.

The Medicare rules associated with Telehealth consultations are regularly changing. You must have attended our practice for a face to face consultation in the last 12 months to be eligible for Medicare rebate for telehealth. If you have not seen one of our doctors face to face within the last 12 months, you will be out of pocket the full consultation fee and receive no rebate from Medicare. There are some exceptions to this, for example, if you are in isolation with COVID-19, are under 12 months of age, or homeless, the 12 month rule does not apply.