15 November 2023
My colleagues and I value the patients of our clinic. As such, I wanted to reach out personally to advise you of some changes that will occur at The Family & Diabetic GP Clinic.
As you may be aware, many GP practices in Townsville and across wider Australia are moving to a model where all GP visits are charged an out-of-pocket fee.
This has been due to a marked rise in costs due to inflation, as well as the fact that Medicare rebates for GP consults have not risen to match these increasing costs. For this reason, many practices have been forced to eliminate bulk billing, or face closure.
For the past few years, The Family & Diabetic GP Clinic has been a private practice that charges an out-of-pocket fee for consults. However many consultations were still bulk billed at the doctor’s discretion.
Unfortunately, as costs have continued to rise, we are unable to continue bulk billing patients in this discretionary fashion.
From the 1st of December 2023, all in-person, telephone and telehealth consults will incur an out-of-pocket fee. The amount this will be will depend on the duration of the consult, as well as whether the patient holds a concession or pension card.
Chronic illness care plans and chronic illness care plan reviews and health assessments can continue to be bulk billed. However, from the 1st of November 2023 patients will be required to register with the clinic on MyMedicare for this to happen.
To reduce the impact of these changes, over the next few months, as your regular GP, I will offer a limited number of standard bulk billed appointments on Wednesday Mornings that can be booked by calling our reception team. These appointments will not be able to be booked on-line.
All other appointment times (excluding chronic illness care plans / reviews and Health Assessments) will incur an out-of-pocket fee.
If you feel that these changes mean that you are unable to continue your care at The Family & Diabetic GP Clinic, please let me know. We should be able to help redirect you to a service that is more viable for you.
If you feel that you can’t remain a patient of our clinic, we will respect your decision and support you in transferring your care elsewhere.
We appreciate your understanding with this matter.
Dr Kenny Clark MBChB, BSc (Hons), MSc, FRACGP