$7 fee for going to the doctor

A patient contribution of $7 will apply for visiting a doctor.

Concession card holders and children under 16 will not pay the fee until they reach 10 visits in a year.

$5 of the $7 fee for will go into the Medical Research Future Fund (see below). The fund will provide an ongoing funding stream for medical research. 

It works like this: From 1 July 2015, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates will be reduced by $5 for standard general practitioner consultations and out-of-hospital pathology and diagnostic imaging services and the providers of these services will be able to collect a patient contribution of $7 per service.

For patients with concession cards and children under 16 years of age the MBS rebate will only be reduced for the first 10 services in each year, after which it will return to current benefit levels. A new Low Gap Incentive will replace bulk billing incentives for providers of these services. The Low Gap Incentive will be paid to providers where they provide services to patients with concession cards or children under 16 years of age and only charge the $7 patient contribution - for the first 10 services in a year, or where they charge no patient contribution - for additional services in that year.

Date of effect

1 July 2015

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

The level of co-payments for medicines on the PBS will increase from 1 January 2015:

  • General payments - Co-payments will increase by $5 to $42.70 (from $37.70)

  • Concession patients - Co-payments will increase by 8o cents to $6.90 (from $6.10).
The PBS safety net threshold will also increase from 1 January 2015.

  • General safety net threshold – increase by 10% each year for 4 years

  • Concessional safety net threshold – increase by "the cost of two prescriptions each year."
It's important to note that these increases are in addition to the existing annual indexation for co-payments and the safety net thresholds.

Medical Research Future Fund
The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will provide a sustained funding stream for medical research, with payments from the MRFF expected to reach around $1.0 billion per year from 2022/2023.

The Government will provide $276.2 million over three years from 1 July 2015 in net earnings from the MRFF to fund critical medical research in the medium to long term. 

Date of effect

1 January 2015 MRFF

1 July 2015 funding