As of the 6th of June 2022, Clermont Country Practice will no longer be routinely bulk billing its patients. Our bulk billing rates have been sitting consistently at 90% since march 2020. As the clinic owner I can no longer afford to prop up the clinic by covering the shortfall. As a result, regardless of health care cards and concession status, patients attending the clinic will be charged a gap from the 6.6.22.

There will be circumstances where patients are offered reduced rates. Ie pensioners. There will be some times where bulk billing will still occur. Ie. GP management plans, health assessments, regular wound dressings and simple injections. BUT there needs to be shift from patients visiting a privately run business expecting to be bulk billed, to attending their appointments prepared to pay a gap. This video goes to great lengths to explain the reason behind this decision.

There are clinic’s all over the country that are making the same decision. CCP has gone to enormous effort to support this community over several years both in its role as a health care service and in its role to recruit doctors for both the private and public sector. Despite attempts to work with the public sector, recruitment of 5 amazing gp’s to work between both the hospital and the clinic. Of these 5 motivated recruits, one is working with CCP alone with 4 failed to even be offered contracts. Make that 6 and 5 if you include the public sector failing to offer me a contract. We have tried, tried and tried some more.

Ultimately here we stand, with a doctor shortage. As a result, it is now time that CCP focuses on what it needs to do, to keep its doors open. We are very aware that this will cause distress, for this we apologise. However as the end of the video states, it is not the job of the private sector to subsidise and prop up the communities access to free health care. This is the responsibility of the government and our public hospitals. If you want to do something about this please contact your local members. This issue has not, even slightly, been addressed by either side of our political parties despite increasing numbers of GP Clinic’s raising this issue.

Here are a few more articles where you can find more information:

I’m a female GP. Here’s why so many of us are walking away.

GP drought: Young docs avoid general practice as system on brink of collapse

How to save GPs, so they can see your grandkids. And mine.

Local doctors issue urgent warning on Medicare

Time-poor GPs threaten to stop bulk billing

To see Dr Sarah McLay speak about this issue watch the video below: