Minns Labor Government’s new bulk-billing initiative to support bulk-billed GP visits statewide


The latest bulk-billing statistics from the Commonwealth Department of Health show that most families and households in NSW live in areas which have bulk-billing rates above the levels set out in the Minns Labor Government’s new bulk-billing initiative.

The package will protect bulk-billing by providing a new, ongoing rebate to clinics for contractor GPs that meet the bulk-billing threshold, of 80% of services in metropolitan Sydney, and 70% in the rest of NSW.

According to Medicare data, the primary health networks which cover Western Sydney, South Western Sydney, along with the Nepean Blue Mountains area, all have bulk-billing rates above those thresholds.

Primary health networks covering the Hunter New England and Central Coast, South Eastern NSW, Western NSW, Murrumbidgee and North Coast also have rates bulk-billing rates above the thresholds.

The NSW Budget $189 million investment will support ongoing high levels of bulk-billing at clinics in these areas, while encouraging bulk-billing at clinics in other regions.

Families and households from Bulli to Badgerys Creek, Charlestown to Chullora, and Granville to Gosford will benefit from the Minns Labor Government’s Bulk-Billing Support Initiative.

The initiative is building healthier communities and easing cost-of-living pressures on families and households. Without these measures, doctors told the NSW Government hundreds of clinics would close and other doctors would be forced to bill patients up to an additional $20 per visit.

Announced in the 2024-25 NSW Budget, the Bulk-Billing Support Initiative will protect the cost of seeing a GP for families and households and reduce the strain on emergency departments.

NSW Health estimates that a 1% decrease in bulk-billing equates to around 3000 additional emergency presentations.

Under the initiative, all GP clinics will have past unpaid payroll tax liabilities for contractor GP wages waived. This will save hundreds of clinics from closure.

The launch of the Bulk-Billing Support Initiative was immediately welcomed by peak bodies the Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) and Australian Medical Association (AMA).

Premier Chris Minns said:

“We are providing an incentive for GPs statewide to bulk-bill their patients.

“We know people have been cutting back on healthcare because of affordability.

“Our measure helps with cost-of-living pressures felt by families and households across the state.

“Helping people see their GP keeps them healthier, meaning fewer presentations to our busy emergency departments.

“Incentivising GPs to bulk-bill patients is part of our plan to build a better NSW.”

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said:

“Free healthcare is supposed to be the birthright of every Australian. But until the Albanese Government recently increased payments to GPs, bulk billing rates had been in freefall.

“Now the Minns Labor Government is addressing the uncertainty faced by GPs over payroll tax obligations.

“Our solution to this – for clinics with GPs who qualify – is not an amnesty, not a moratorium, but a full rebate.

“Because we prefer GPs to spend more time with their patients than with their accountants.”

Minister for Health Ryan Park said:

“Once again, our government is taking action to clean up the mess left by the Liberals and Nationals, after sitting on their hands for 5 years.

“We know that the federal Coalition’s freeze on Medicare rebates has coincided with a significant decline in the availability of bulk-billing.

“As a result, NSW hospitals are shouldering the burden with emergency departments under record pressure.

“But the Bulk-Billing Support Initiative which will foster greater access to a GP, and in turn relieve pressure on our busy hospitals.”

Minister for Finance Courtney Houssos said:

“The Liberal-National Government had years to address this issue and it’s taken a Labor government to clean up their mess and safeguard bulk-billing in NSW.

“The former Liberal-National Government’s failure on this issue particularly impacted regional and rural GP clinics. In providing a targeted rebate for those clinics, we can protect primary care for families and households across regional communities.

“For the first time, the NSW Government is making a direct policy intervention to support bulk-billing.”

Source: Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care

Primary Health NetworkBulk-Billing Rate
South Western Sydney93.7%
Western Sydney93.1%
Nepean Blue Mountains90.7%
Western NSW82.2%
North Coast79.1%
Central and Eastern Sydney77.1%
South Eastern NSW76.3%
Hunter New England and Central Coast72.0%
Northern Sydney70.5%

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