Australians visited a doctor for free a record number of times in the past year, new Medicare figures show.
The bulk billing rate hit 86.1 per cent in 2016-17, as Australians saw a GP for free more than 133 million times.
That's 5.7 million more appointments than the previous year.
Health Minister Greg Hunt says the achievement comes as the federal government is also working to continue bringing down the cost of private health insurance.
The chief medical officer has been tasked with working with the profession to address surprise out-of-pocket medical costs.
"We want a no surprises approach to the fees charged to patients," Mr Hunt said in a statement.
Australian Associated Press