The amount of money a GP earns varies depending on their patient fees and whether they qualify for any of a number of financial incentives.
What will I be paid as a GP?
As in any industry, your wage will differ depending on where you work. The majority of jobs in medicine in the public sector are available through each state’s Department of Health. (as an example, information on pay rates and positions is available in more detail on the Queensland Health website). Essentially, your pay will be tiered based on position and level.
For example, as a Senior Medical Officer (SMO) working for Queensland Health, your pay could start at $68,072 per annum. This can then range up to $221,232 per annum depending on the level you attain within that role’s scope.
If you work for a private practice or medical centre, your wages will be similar to those outlined here, though of course they will vary slightly from employer to employer. GP Australia has an earnings calculator that can give you a good idea of your earning capacity.
Here’s an example using the GP Australia calculator. These earnings are based on a GP who sees three patients per hour, works full time, does a little after-hours work and bulk-bills 50 per cent of their patients.
- Rural & Remote with Procedural – $195,814 to $251,761
- Regional with Procedural – $181,827 to $209,801
- Outer Metro with Minor Procedural – $167,840 to $181,827
- Urban with Minor Procedural – $153,854 to $167,840
- Urban with No Procedural – $139,867 to $153,854
How does Medicare integrate with general practice?
You’ll need to register with Medicare so that you and your patients can take advantage of their rebates. Medicare rebates you for your schedule fees. Depending on the type of consultation, this fee will vary. Starting July 1st, 2015, this rebate will be reduced by $5 for non-concessional patients. The Australian Government Department of Health has published the below table for more information.
Current rebate Adjusted rebate for Non-Concessional Patients as of 1/7/15 Level A: Untimed $16.95 $11.95 Level B: Standard consultation (up to 20 minutes) $37.05 $32.05 Level C: 20 to 40 minutes $71.70 $66.70 Level D: More than 40 minutes $105.55 $100.55
You have three options if you would like to take advantage of Medicare:
- You can charge a higher fee to the patient and let them claim the rebate back from Medicare. For example, if you charge $50 for the consultation, the patient will pay you $50, and then they will claim the rebate themselves from Medicare.
- You can charge a fee higher than the rebate to the patient and also claim the rebate back for them to avoid them having to do it themselves through Medicare. To do this, you use Medicare Easyclaim. This will let you provide the rebate to your patients directly through your EFTPOS terminal.
- Alternatively, you can bulk-bill the patient. This way, you receive the rebate and the patient doesn’t pay. You can also provide a mixture of services, charging patients at certain times and bulk-billing at others, or bulk-billing eligible patients such as pensioners, concession-card holders, children and students and charging the remainder.