Doctors & Prescriptions Costs

Costs for Doctors & Prescriptions in Australia

Prescription Costs in Australia

A standard Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription cost from 1st Jan 2019 is $40.30 for general patients. ** see below

Those with concession cards pay only $5.50 or $6.50 per prescription, depending on the Pharmacy.

** This should be the Maximum figure you pay for a standard PBS prescription.

  • Sometimes the figure will be lower, depending on the actual item.
  • Some prescriptions will be for Brand names, and these may be higher than the normal PBS rate. The chemist normally asks if you are happy with a Generic Brand, which is the normal PBS costed one.
  • There are also some prescriptions that are not covered under the PBS scheme, and are therefore not subsidised at all, meaning that these can be quite expensive.

A guide to actual prices can be found at:  www.pbs.gov.au

The prescription costs are normally adjusted on 1 January each year in line with inflation.

For those people who use a lot of prescriptions, there are safety nets available to keep the costs down.

More details at

Doctors Fees in Australia

Doctors fees can vary in Australia, and I can only give a couple of examples.

My own local Doctors (GP’s) quote a base consultation fee, in 2019, of $60.
Some Doctors, especially in more affluent areas will charge more than this.


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However, for Citizens, Residents and those with Reciprocal Health Cover, this is where Medicare kicks in with some options, depending on how your doctor operates his income system.

  • Bulk Billing Doctors: You don’t pay anything, as Medicare pays the Doctor directly, at a previously agreed rate, normally less than the doctors normal fee.
  • Non Bulk Billing Doctors: You pay the doctors fee, and then claim some back from Medicare.

More details at:

Specialist Doctors are more expensive than normal GP’s, and your net costs after the Medicare rebates are therefore much higher.

Australian Prescription cost history

Standard Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription costs for general patients have been:

1st Jan 1971 was $ 1.00.
1st Jan 1981 was $ 3.20.
1st Jan 1991 was $15.70. With $2.60 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2001 was $21.90. With $3.50 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2009 was $32.90. With $5.30 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2010 was $33.30. With $5.40 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2011 was $34.20. With $5.60 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2012 was $35.40. With $5.80 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2013 was $36.10. With $5.90 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2014 was $36.90. With $6.00 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2015 was $37.70. With $6.10 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2016 was $38.30. With $6.20 for concession card holders.
1st Jan 2017 was $38.80. With $6.30 for concession card holders
1st Jan 2018 was $39.50. With $6.40 for concession card holders
1st Jan 2019 was $40.30. With $6.50 for concession card holders

Source: www.pbs.gov.au/info/healthpro/explanatory-notes/front/fee



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