Rising costs and Medicare cuts are hitting south-west GPs hard.
The Standard knows of at least one clinic in the region that no longer offers bulk billing, while a number of other doctors said they were concerned about their ability to continue to do so.
King Street Medical Clinic owner Dr Surinder Singh said rising costs and a lack of Medicare rebate increases were concerning.
His clinic is a mixed billing practice - offering bulk billing to some patients.
"There will always be circumstances where we will need to bulk bill - people and their well-being have to come first," Dr Singh said.
"Unfortunately it's the doctors who bear the brunt."
Long-serving Camperdown GP Dr John Menzies said his clinic was also feeling the pinch.
"The concern expressed is being felt by everybody," he said.
"Current Medicare rebates fail to reflect economic reality."
Their comments come after the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) warned general practice care needed an urgent shot in the arm.
A HealthEd survey of almost 500 GPs found 22 per cent had recently changed their billing model, meaning patients are facing higher out-of-pocket costs to see a GP.
One-third of those who changed their billing model moved from bulk billing to mixed billing (a combination of bulk billing and private billing), and 67 per cent changed from mixed billing to completely private billing.
RACGP President Adjunct Professor Karen Price said that the figures were heading in the wrong direction.
"General practice is up against it and unless government boosts investment in GP care, more and more practices will be forced to pass the cost on to patients," she said.
"That is not a decision taken lightly and no one relishes the thought of asking their patients to pay more, particularly those struggling to make ends meet at a time of increased grocery and fuel costs just to name a few.
"But practices have no other choice because their own costs are rising, and Medicare rebates simply haven't kept pace with the cost of providing high-quality care. Our hands are tied, we need help desperately."
Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said primary care was in its worse shape since Medicare began.
"Across the country we hear stories of Australians not being able to get in to see a bulk billing doctor or GPs changing from bulk billing to mixed billing," Mr Butler said.
"The reality is after nine years of cuts and neglect from the former government it's never been harder or more expensive for Australians to see a GP.
"The former government froze the Medicare rebate for six years, ripping billions of dollars out of primary care and causing gap fees to skyrocket.
"The former government was not honest with Australians about the true state of bulk billing in Australia by selectively quoting the 88 per cent figure."
Mr Butler said he had asked for more information from his department to obtain a more complete and accurate picture of the state of bulk billing in Australia.
"Just as every new Labor government has always had to do - we'll clean up the mess left by the Liberal Party," he said.
"The Albanese Government is committed to investing in general practice and strengthening Medicare with almost $1 billion of investment."
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