Specialist gap fees up 40% in five years

Gap fees charged by specialists have increased by more than 40% in five years, even though specialists are still bulk-billing only 30% of their services.

The latest figures from Medicare show the average patient contribution for a specialist consult is currently $67.47.

For anaesthetists, who bulk-bill only 10% of their services, co-payments have hit an average of $114.

And for obstetricians, who bulk-bill 48% of their services, co-payments have reached $250 — double what they were five years ago.

Although there are no publicly available co-payment figures for each specialty, overall