UNDER a Canberra Liberals government there will be more gap-free and after hours GP services across Canberra.
The party says the ACT has the lowest rate of bulk billing services in the country and the second highest rate of people who defer trips to the doctor because it’s too expensive.
This program, they say, could save the average family more than $200 per year in doctor fees.
“A Canberra Liberals government will ensure more gap-free GP services across Canberra through a targeted business assistance program for local GPs,” says a Canberra Liberals spokesperson.
“The program will incentivise participating local GP clinics to increase bulk billing rates and opening hours by reducing rates, providing energy rebates and other forms of business assistance.”
Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe says delivering gap-free GP services will reduce cost of living pressures on families and deliver better health services.
“We know many Canberra households are reassessing their financial situation as they prepare to weather the economic storm of COVID-19. No-one should compromise their health because they cannot afford healthcare,” Mr Coe says.
“That’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to reduce cost of living pressures to help more stressed Canberra families get ahead. Saving the average family $200 on trips to the doctor will act as a key stimulus measure to give household budgets a shot in arm in the immediate term.”
Liberal spokeswoman for health Vicki Dunne says the Canberra Liberals team will work closely with the AMA, the College of General Practitioners, the Capital Health Network, health care consumers and other interested stakeholders to develop the right business assistance program and to better integrate local GP clinics with existing public health services.
“The high cost of living in Canberra has too many people avoiding a trip to the doctor because it’s simply too expensive. The knock-on effect of this is more people neglecting their health and more people in the emergency department which is already under extraordinary pressure,” Mrs Dunne says.
“We need to increase bulk billing rates across the board to ensure more affordable healthcare for stressed families and to reduce pressure on the health system. We will work with all stakeholders to make this happen.”