same day & emergency walk-in appointments are available
(02) 9651 2077
3-4/286 New Line Road, Dural NSW 2158
Sunday and Public Holidays
After Hours Phone Contact
8:00am - 6:00pm
8:00am - 6:00pm
8:00am - 6:00pm
8:00am - 6:00pm
8:00am - 6:00pm
8:30am - 12:00pm
137 425

Have you ever wondered why the practice charges a gap fee for some consultations?

As you may know, General Practices are small, privately-run entities that receive no Government funding to operate (unlike public hospitals). Unfortunately, following years of Medicare rebate freezes and low rebate indexation (around 1.6% per annum) since the early 2000s, a patient’s Medicare rebate alone, as it stands, is no longer able to sustain keeping a General Practice open.

To explain this further, for each bulk-billed consultation, a portion is distributed to the doctor, and a smaller portion goes to the practice.

The doctor (who is not an employee, but an independent associate sole trader) will use their after-tax portion to pay their own annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, superannuation, medical indemnity, registration, CPD/study leave etc.

To give an example, when you are bulk-billed for a standard consultation (Item 23, up to 20 mins), your doctor will only receive approximately $13 for this consultation after paying their own annual/sick/parental leave, insurances, registration etc.

The smaller portion of your consultation fee for the practice covers a multitude of practice running costs such as:

  • Staff wages, staff training
  • Commercial rent, strata and outgoings
  • Medical equipment purchases, servicing, compliance and calibration
  • Dressings, surgical equipment, medical instruments, resuscitation equipment & servicing
  • Medical software, record keeping software and cyber/data security
  • Personal protective equipment (all funded by the practice)
  • IT, web appointment systems and patient recall system licenses
  • Office running costs (printers, computers, telecommunications & phone systems)
  • Practice accreditation, insurances, audits and clinical governance, medical industry compliance regulations
  • Cloud-based off-site medical records storage and security
  • Utilities, rates and building maintenance and repairs
  • Sanitation and infection control (daily cleaning, sterilisation, hazardous waste removal)

We hope that this provides some clarity on why you may have a gap fee, if we wish to provide excellence in GP care, and keep the doors of Dural Family Medical Practice open.

Please note that bulk-billing is still available by some doctors for all:

  • Children under 16 years of age
  • Pension and Concession Card Holders
  • DVA Card Holders
  • Patients experiencing homelessness