Remote areas outside of metropolitan cities have seen a reduction in bulk billing for the first time ever, with Tasmania still among the lowest for access to services.
The latest Medicare data revealed a national bulk billing rate of 86 per cent, for the nine months from July 2018 to March 2019.
However in Tasmania, the figure was 76 per cent - the lowest of any state and second only to the ACT.
While the Morrison Government claims more Australians are visiting their GPs without "paying a cent", the peak body representing general practitioners says a decline in bulk billing rates in rural and regional areas will be felt nation wide.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Tasmania chairwoman Jennifer Presser said the changes would impact the state's most vulnerable.
"Rather than the rate of increase slowing, it's actually dropping," she said.
"That's particularly concerning in rural areas because there are worse health outcomes in rural areas. So that is making access more difficult and less affordable."
Bulk billing rates have dropped by 0.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent across all regional and rural areas Australia-wide, while the average out of pocket cost has risen by over a dollar to $38.05.
At the same time, the July 1 Medicare indexation saw an increase of only 60 cents to the patient rebate for an average GP consultation.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said a total of 248.1 million services, including those provided by GPs, specialists, pathologists and diagnostic imagers, were bulk billed in the nine months to March 2019 - an increase of seven million from the same period last year.
"These figures mean that, on average, Australians are receiving more medical services with no out of pocket costs," he said. "Medicare has never been stronger.
"Our commitment to Medicare and bulk billing is rock solid."
However, Dr Presser said the Medicare data was not an accurate representation, with no correlation to the number of people being able to see a doctor for free.
"The data reflects the number of services, not patients, and it also doesn't reflect where patients are having those services," she said.
"So the fact that there is an increase in bulk billing, doesn't necessarily reflect people being able to visit their GP directly, at all."
According to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, more than 1.3 million Australians put off seeing a GP or medical specialist in 2017 because of the cost of services.
The report found Tasmanians were almost three times as likely as those living in Central and Eastern Sydney, to delay or not see a GP at all, due to cost.
Dr Presser said it was no coincidence that Tasmania continued to have some of the country's worst health outcomes and the poorest access to affordable services.
"The data about access shows Tasmania has the highest of percentage of people who avoid going to the doctor, or getting their medication prescribed, because they simply can't afford it," she said.
"We have a really high number of people who say 'I need to go to the doctor, but I can't afford it'. So they put it off.
"Most GPs are a business, just doing what they can to stay open. But there has some to be some recognition that it costs more to provide those services in a rural and remote area."