Why does this practice not routinely bulk bill?

The rate of revenue for bulk billing, when taken in the context of practice costs, only pays for about 8-10 minutes of consultation time. This has a major impact on the quality of the medical care a patient receives, and creates risks for the patient and the doctor. You may notice that when a normal consultation is bulk billed, doctors may not have time to listen to the patient properly, may only deal with one problem or one aspect of a problem at one visit. As a result, more tests and visits may occur than is necessary, or the doctor may refer the patient on for very minor problems. In the end, this payment system may result in higher total cost to the community than would have otherwise been the case.

Patients who make a financial contribution to their health care usually have an independent, productive and motivated interest in the professional relationship. The practice will bulk bill some visits in situations of hardship or excessive costs, especially for palliative care, aged pensioners, and multiple visits for sick children.
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