Media Releases


November 01, 2023

The Albanese Government is making Medicare stronger for the Hunter region.

On 1 November, the largest investment in bulk billing in the 40-year history of Medicare takes effect, with the tripling of the bulk billing incentive for local GPs.
Bulk billing is the beating heart of Medicare.

After nine years of cuts and neglect by the former government, bulk billing rates have declined sharply and it’s never been harder or more expensive for Australians to see a GP.

This historic investment means it will be easier for over 80,000 children and their families and over 200,000 pensioners and concession cardholders in the Hunter region to see a bulk billed GP.

On top of our investment in bulk billing, we are investing in a $1.5 billion indexation boost across the board to Medicare rebates, increasing the amount that doctors receive for Medicare services and reducing pressure on GPs.

The Albanese Government is committed to making it more affordable for you and your family to get the health care you need.

Quotes attributable to Pat Conroy

“People shouldn’t be forced to choose between buying groceries or seeing their GP.

“This is the latest responsible step the Albanese Government is taking to improve the health outcomes of people in our community.

“Along with restoring the hours for our community’s GP Access After Hours service and establishing Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, we are delivering on our
commitments to make it easier for people to see a doctor.”

Quotes attributable to Sharon Claydon

“I know how hard it has become to find a bulk billing doctor in Newcastle. The former Liberal Government’s cuts and 6-year freeze to Medicare rebates created a crisis in general practice”.

“These historic investments into bulk billing will make it easier for families, pensioners and concession card holders to access a bulk billed doctor”.

“It follows the re-opening of GP Access After Hours at the Calvary Mater hospital and the restoration of hours at the John Hunter hospital. The Albanese Government is taking action to help ease cost of living pressures for Novocastrians.”

Quotes attributable to Meryl Swanson

“I am so pleased to see the tripling of the Bulk Billing Incentive come to fruition.

“This historic announcement will see children, families, pensioners and concession card holders and the majority of our community better off under the Albanese Government, through opening pathways for people to access good quality health care when and where they need it most, without the worry of inflated costs.

“Access to quality health care is vitally important to everyone, and this announcement ensures that healthcare is back on the table and no longer a luxury or an option.

“We are working hard to take the pressure off families.”

Quotes attributable to Dan Repacholi

"Healthcare should be accessible to everyone regardless of their income, but the sad reality is that too often people find it too hard to find a doctor who bulk-bills”.

"This historic investment and tripling of the bulk billing incentive will mean more people in the Hunter electorate will be able to access bulk billed services and that will have a real impact on the family budget”.

"This, along with the restored hours at the Toronto GP Access After Hours service and the brand new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic at Cessnock, will mean Hunter residents have a lot more options when they need to see a doctor."