Harder and more expensive to see a doctor in Lindsay under Labor

It has never been harder or more expensive to see a doctor, as recent data points to a primary care system at crisis point under the Albanese Labor Government. 

New analysis of the Healthdirect service finder has revealed that Australians have lost access to more than 400 dedicated bulk billing GP clinics over the past 12 months. In Lindsay, the number of bulk billing GP clinics has declined by 2.6 per cent in just one year, from 53.4 per cent in 2023 down to 50.9 per cent in 2024.

This builds on further evidence that bulk billing is on the decline under the Albanese Labor Government, according to the Cleanbill Blue Report in January 2024, where it revealed the national rate of bulk billing dropped 11% last year to 23.6 per cent, with 514 clinics removing the service.

The reduction in bulk billing services comes as the cost of operating a general practice has gone up. Many clinics have cited increased overheads such as rent rises and sky-rocketing electricity prices, with the Medicare co-payment not enough to cover their costs.

Despite being at 84.4 per cent under the Coalition in May 2022, the number of Australians accessing bulk billed GP appointments in New South Wales has dropped to 76.9 per cent under Labor.

Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh MP, said that the Albanese Labor Government is overseeing a healthcare system at a crisis point and has done nothing to help struggling families in Lindsay.

“It is clear that affordable access to a doctor is only getting worse, as the Albanese Labor Government oversees the worst GP bulkbilling rates in a decade,” said Mrs McIntosh.

“The fact remains that people are telling us that with the rise in cost of living, they are finding it more difficult to afford to access the healthcare, and are forced to choose between looking after their health or paying their bills.

“This data only measures the out of pocket costs for people who actually get care, but sadly there are a lot of people who are choosing to not visit the doctor because they can’t afford it in the first place.

“Labor has slashed Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions in half, they have cut 70 telehealth items from Medicare, and patients are now having to pay more from their own pockets to see a doctor.  

“To make matters worse, we know that a weaker primary care system places pressure on our already over-burdened hospitals as more people present at emergency departments to seek care.

“The people of Lindsay cannot afford this Government’s inaction on health in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. The Coalition is holding Labor to account so that all Australians have timely access to critical healthcare.”

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