COVID-19 vaccines will be bulk billed by GPs, the federal government has confirmed.
While the Pfizer jab, which requires specific cold temperature storage, will be limited to hospitals and specialised areas, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered in GP clinics.
Following the government’s consistent assurance the COVID-19 vaccine will be universal and at no cost to members of the community, it has been confirmed doctors will bulk bill the jab, with hopes up to 1000 clinics will register to administer the doses.
GPs will be responsible for administering up to 53 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which the Federal Government confirmed purchase of in December last year.
Under the Medicare Benefits Schedule finalised on Friday, doctors will be paid $30.76 for the first consult and $24.25 for the second, given both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jab require two shots within 21 days.
Expressions of interest for GP practices opened on Saturday.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said the organisation had “worked very closely with the government to make sure the Medicare arrangements are going to underpin the successful rollout of the program”.
“We are comfortable where it has landed. Any practice that feels it doesn’t work for them presumably won’t put in an expression of interest, it’s not automatic and if they can’t make it work financially, presumably they won’t participate, but the majority will, we need to try and vaccinate 20 million people and we need the majority of general practice involved, ” Dr Khorshid said.
On Sunday, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg insisted Australia is on track for a February coronavirus vaccine rollout despite worrying shortages overseas.
Despite several European countries complaining that their orders have fallen short due to production delays, Mr Frydenberg said that he is confident Australia will not experience the same issue.
“We have the virus under control here in Australia, but we do want to roll out the vaccine, that’s why the TGA’s is going through its normal processes and we are still on track to receive this Pfizer vaccine, mid to late February,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.