PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 22417

Electronic Medicare Claiming

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/08/2006

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 22417

I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government will be introducing new arrangements to make it easier for people to claim their Medicare rebate.

We will be formally engaging the private sector to manage the introduction of a system for patients to directly claim a Medicare rebate into their bank account with the swipe of a Medicare card at their doctor's surgery.

This streamlined claiming process demonstrates the Coalition Government's commitment to Medicare. It will be a huge benefit for families, avoiding the queue at a Medicare office, filling in forms or waiting for cheques.

Through these arrangements, patients will pay for a doctor's visit and then swipe their Medicare card and EFTPOS card to receive their rebate back directly into their bank account. It is expected the new claiming system, via the EFTPOS network, will be available in the second half of next year.

The new claiming process will not affect bulk billed patients, although it will mean their doctor will receive payment from Medicare more quickly for providing the bulk billed service. This will be a major improvement in the way we pay doctors for bulk billed services.

Each day 80,000 people queue at a Medicare office to claim their rebate. Access Economics estimates that the average cost in time and resources to make that claim is $10.

The private sector has indicated it can provide this technology simply and quickly and the Australian Medical Association has given its support for the proposal.

It will provide real time checking for Medicare and concession status.

Medicare offices, easy-claim booths and other current claiming processes will remain in place while the new system is introduced.

Transcript 22417