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PCBC calls out the NSW Budget as a bad day for General Practice

Primary Care Business Council 2 mins read

The Primary Care Business Council (PCBC) said yesterday’s NSW Budget falls far short of supporting the needs of primary care in the state.

 

While the PCBC welcomes the retrospective amnesty to payroll tax on GPs, the group said that Government’s Bulk Billing Support Initiative will be ineffective in preserving bulk billing.

 

“The Government’s intention of the Bulk Billing Support Initiative will not play out in reality,” PCBC Chair, Dr Ged Foley said.

 

“The vast majority of NSW practices will still be in the crosshairs come September. The PCBC implores the NSW Government to come back to the table on the significant challenges facing primary care operators.

 

“While it is good that GPs now have certainty around retrospective payroll tax, NSW is the worst off of all the states.

 

“The horse has already bolted. GPs across the state have moved away from bulk billing because of decades of falling Federal Government funding and a payroll tax incentive will do little to change that.

 

“Practice owners do not control whether a GP bulk bills or not, so adding a payroll tax incentive will make no difference. GPs are not directly responsible for paying payroll tax, so they will receive no benefit from changing their approach.

 

“It is difficult to see any other consequence from this policy than a continued fall in bulk billing and an increase in out-of-pocket costs to patients.

 

“Government simply must do better to support primary care. It is the most effective part of our healthcare system but it is chronically neglected and underfunded with only 6 percent of the overall Health budget going to primary care.

 

“The consequences of not addressing these issues are higher costs for patients, and more practices closing their doors. These are not outcomes the PCBC considers acceptable, and neither should the NSW Government.” Dr Foley said.


About us:

About the PCBC

The Primary Care Business Council represents 5,000 GPs across Australia, operating approximately 800 general practices in inner city and metropolitan areas as well as rural and remote locations.  Our members facilitate 24 million patient visits each year and are committed to ensuring General Practice is an attractive profession that delivers timely access to primary healthcare for all Australians, now and into the future.


Contact details:

Media Inquiries: Isabelle Colla 0432 970 548

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