The price to visit a GP in Northern Tasmania has increased again this year according to new figures from the Health Department.
Figures released this week in the Senate show on average it costs $37.82 to visit a bulk billing GP in Bass, a 26 per cent increase since 2013.
In the same timeframe the average cost to visit a specialist increased more than $23.
Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley said a Coalition Medicare freeze was to blame for the increase and called for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer to explain themselves.
"What's happening is the costs are going up but here in Tasmania our wages are not," she said.
She said the rising costs have led to people seeking treatment at emergency departments instead of their GPs.
The freeze which came into effect in 2014 means doctors are being reimbursed at the same rate now as they were then, creating a larger gap between how much their services cost and how much they are reimbursed.
This gap is what consumers pay out of pocket.
Ms Archer said the issue was a lot more complex than Labor were making out.
"I just don't think it's as simple as everybody's going to emergency because of the cost of GP's," she said.
Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson said the medicare freeze was one of the contributing factors which led to more people attending emergency departments.
"The way the government could take significant pressure off of our public hospital system straight away is to increase the medicare payment that is paid to medical practices," he said.
Ms Archer said the issue was a priority and accused Labor of using social media to unnecessarily politicise the issue.
"Helen Polley's got social media out today saying I as the member for Bass was responsible for a medicare freeze that happened several years before I was even elected," she said.
"It's just blatant politicking and frankly I think it's a disgrace."
Mrs Polley said the member was still responsible for the policy regardless of whether she was in Parliament when it was introduced.
"Social media is a very valuable tool, Mrs Archer and her party didn't mind using social media when they were lying about death taxes in the last election," she said.
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