90 Second Statement - Youth Voice In Parliament Week (Zahra Freeman)

16 November 2023

This week I am participating in the Youth Voice in Parliament Campaign, championed by Ash, Gemma and the team at Raise Our Voice.

Today’s submission is from Zahra Freeman, a 14 year old constituent from Cunningham. These are Zahra’s words:


“My name is Zahra, I am 14 years old and I live in the Cunningham electorate. The issue I am delivering to you today is how children’s Medicare bulk billing is not being utilised to help families.

Currently, the top pages of search engines tell that Medicare bulk billing completely covers GP visits, paediatrics, dental work, and immunisations, for children under 16.

But in reality, these services are guilty of not bulk billing like is claimed, a basic General practitioner's out-of-pocket gap is up to $40; $40 more than is claimed, $40 more than it should be.

The federal budget for 2023 intended to address this issue by tripling bulk billing for children, but this has not solved the problem.

This is a direct demonstration that incentivising does not work to combat children’s Medicare costs, so instead, we need to penalise for not doing it.

This means that free, equal healthcare would be available for all children when they need it, not when the budget allows.

Through introducing financial penalties for not bulk billing children’s visits, it means that Medicare is utilised, so that struggling families aren’t affected by absurd out of pocket costs, reducing future financial and health burdens on the current youth.”


Thanks Zahra.