Legislation to cut red tape for GPs

Legislation to cut red tape and simplify recognition of General Practitioners (GPs) as specialists, streamlining access to higher Medicare rebates for patients received Royal Assent on 16 June 2020

Page last updated: 27 July 2020

Under the new arrangements, GPs’ access to Medicare is determined by their continued registration status with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra). Medical practitioners who are awarded Fellowship as a GP no longer need to make an application to Services Australia to access Medicare Rebates.

The new process allows Services Australia to use the Ahpra register of medical practitioners to determine access to GP rebates through an automatic data feed.

From 16 June 2021, the definition of general practitioner in the Health Insurance Act 1973 will align with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as enacted in each state and territory which provides consistent professional standards for registration in the medical profession across all states and territories.

GPs who may be affected by the changes

If you have gained fellowship with either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and are not currently registered as a specialist with Ahpra, you will need to apply to update your registration status. If you are unsure of your registration status, you can check using Ahpra’s public register.

If you have previously been listed on the Vocational Register and wish to be re-instated on the Vocational Register and recognised as a GP by Medicare, you will need to complete an Application for Vocational Registration for General Practitioner form and submit it to Services Australia.

Fact-sheet: Legislation to cut red tape for GPs (PDF 130 KB)
Fact-sheet: Legislation to cut red tape for GPs (Word 103 KB)

Questions and Answers: Health Insurance Amendment (General Practitioners and Quality Assurance) Amendment Act 2020 (PDF 161 KB)
Questions and Answers: Health Insurance Amendment (General Practitioners and Quality Assurance) Amendment Act 2020 (Word 30 KB)