Medicare Benefits Schedule – better access to after hours GP services

Increased Medicare rebates will encourage more GPs to make house calls after hours.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

PDF printable version of Medicare Benefits Schedule – better access to after hours GP services (PDF 84 KB)

Why is this important?

  • Gaining access to affordable GP services after hours can be difficult for patients – particularly for those people who are unable to travel to a clinic or other service and need a home visit.
  • An increased MBS rebate of $83.50 for after hours GP home visit services will be introduced from 1 November 2008 for the hours 6-8pm weekdays and 12-1pm Saturdays.
  • The current rebates for these times vary according to the length and complexity of the service as well as the number of patients seen in a visit. For example, the rebate for an in-house standard home visit by a Vocationally Recognised GP currently ranges from $33.75 up to $54.55 depending on the number of patients seen. From 1 November 2008, this will become a flat rate rebate of $83.50 for urgent home visits.
  • This measure will help to fund an additional 357,000 GP after hours services over four years, through broadening the period in which urgent home visit MBS items can be claimed.

Who will benefit?

  • The increased rebate will be available to everyone but it will be especially helpful for children and the elderly who are more likely to need a home visit after hours.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Commonwealth Government is providing additional funding of $71.8 million over four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • In the 2005-06 Budget, the Government provided $555.8 million under Round the Clock Medicare to improve access to after hours GP services.

When will this initiative conclude?

  • This initiative is ongoing.

In this section