More than a million Medicare claims a day as list reviewed

MORE than one million Medicare claims are being lodged every day, new figures have revealed.

The annual Medicare figures released on Thursday showed 21 million people accessed the nation's health system and used a total of about 368 million services.

Although recent research showed the growth in the cost of Medicare was below national growth, the system cost $20 billion to run in 2014-15 the report said.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said about 90% of the population had used Medicare at least once last year.

The report showed the number of new Medicare patients grew at 21% in the past decade, due to an aging population, while overall population growth was 19% in the same period.

Ms Ley said in that time 1000 items had been added to the list of services subsidised by Medicare.

She said it was time for a "deep clean" of the cupboard.

She said it was "positive" that new treatments were available, but the government had to balance the successes with the cost of the scheme.

"These figures paint a complex picture around the impacts of Australia's aging population and the ever-expanding list of new and improved medical treatments available in our Medicare system," she said.

A review of more than 5100 Medicare listed items was started earlier this year.

Topics:  health medicare tax

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