Fact sheet

Fact Check: Kristina Keneally says out-of-pocket costs to visit a GP have gone up 25 per cent under the Coalition Government. Is she correct?

Australian Labor Party General practice Bulk-billing
The Coalition used the 2019 Budget to match Labor's promise to end the Medicare rebate freeze should it win the next election. On the day Labor announced its promise, Senator Kristina Keneally claimed that under the Coalition, out-of-pocket costs to visit a GP rose 25 per cent and out-of-pocket costs to visit a specialist were up 40 per cent because of the Coalition's Medicare freeze. Senator Keneally's figures broadly check out, but there's more to the story when it comes to increased out-of-pocket costs. For a start, the initial 10 months of the rebate freeze was imposed on Labor's watch. At any rate, experts told RMIT ABC Fact Check the increase could not be solely attributed to the freeze, which has been lifted for GP consultations. Rather, they also blamed increased out-of-pocket patient costs on the rising cost of running a GP practice and the way in which general practice medicine was being funded overall.
Verdict: More to the story
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