Thursday, 17 September 2015

Seeing a doctor

Hello everyone it is now Thursday afternoon and it has been a cold wet day a real change from the last few day which have been very warm to bloody hot.

Kathy-Lee told me that little Summer is sick at the moment she has conjunctivitis in both eyes, a chesty cough, runny nose with a fever and is quite lethargic so a trip the doctors was in order, she has been prescribed antibiotics and will be home from day care tomorrow. Kathy said she just wants to either sleep or lay on the lounge and watch telly.

Anyway this morning I was reading a post by Diane who can be found here:
about doctors in France and this along with Kathy telling me about Summer being sick and the fact that I had to go to the doctors this morning myself I decided to write a post about seeing a doctor in Australia.

When one wants to see a doctor here, one would ring the doctors surgery speak to the receptionist and as long as you are not a new patient it is somewhat easy to find a time and day that suits, when mum rings the doctors she can usually get in to see someone either the same day or sometime in the week. I find it the same with the practice at Mount Hutton that I go to, the Charlestown practice I usually make my appointment online which means I can search for a time I like with a doctor I like without having to say no that doesn't work I can't do Wednesdays or Fridays.

I know of no doctor who runs on time all the time it is pretty common to have to wait between 10-45 minutes after your appointment time.

Of course seeing a specialist is different, first you have to see your GP to get a referral to the specialist, if you are seeing a someone through the public system the GP will fax the referral off to the hospital and you will get a letter through the mail telling you when the appointment is. If you are seeing someone privately you have to ring the specialist and make an appointment yourself. I do not see someone privately I always go through the hospital as I can't afford to see someone privately.

Now you may have noticed that I said I go to two different doctor surgeries this is because the one at Mount Hutton is a bulk billing practice, this means that I don't have to pay at all the cost is covered by the government, the Charlestown practice doesn't bulk bill everyone and unless you have a pension card or the doctor decides to bulk bill you, you are expected to pay the cost is $75 for a 10 minute appointment and you get $37 from Medicare (the government) so that leaves you $33 out of pocket and I don't always have the money so at times I will go and see the bulk billing doctor.

Once you have checked in with the receptionist you take a seat in the waiting room and the doctor will call you in when they are ready for you, the doctor doesn't wear a white coat or anything they are just dressed in normal clothes. There is no paper work to fill in unless you are first time patient many doctors surgeries may have closed their books meaning they are not taking on new patients. I however, have been going to the Charlestown practice for 48 years and yes I am only 52.

My mum has to pay when she takes Dawson to see his specialist and it costs her $600 a visit and she gets about half of that back from Medicare, so seeing a specialist can be bloody expensive.

Most surgery here is either carried out through the public system costing the patient nothing but there can be a long wait for that to happen, if you have private health insurance you can have your surgery done in a private hospital but even though you have health insurance you still usually have some out of pocket expenses.

Private health insurance isn't cheap either, fees can start at $15 per week for a single person and increases the older you get the more cover you have and if you have a family it is more for me and Tim it would cost more then we can afford I don't exactly how much as I have not checked in a long time.  


Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Jo-Anne,
Oh here in the USA the health care cost are going through the roof! And yes, the waiting time is ALWAYS that bad, even with an appointment! It looks like they charge us an arm and leg and do't ever respect our precious time!
Sending you hugs,

diane b said...

We pay over $300 per month for private health cover. We pay $12 at the doctors but it is free (bulk billed) if it is a follow up visit. That is because the doctor bills medicare but charges us $12 extra.

Marg said...

That all sounds almost like things here in he U.S. I am very lucky in this respect to be old and have Medicare and Medicaid. That was interesting to read about.

Bouncin Barb said...

it's so damn complicated all over isn't it? Here in the US if you can't afford insurance you are basically screwed. It's just not right but greed is the main factor in our healthcare system...NOT people.

Margaret-whiteangel said...

We have private health insurance, and our GP bulk bills..

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

So true about so many doctors all over the world I reckon

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

$12 isn't that bad, but over $300 a month is a lot if you ask me, we don't have that type of money to spare

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Thank you we often hear things about how expansive it is in the U S when one needs to see a doctor and/or go to hospital

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I have heard things like that about the U S but didn't know if was true or not.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

It is good if one can afford private health insurance, we can't the Charlestown practice bulk bills those one pensions but everyone else as to pay

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

YES, sadly that IS very true!
I'm still in a dispute with our local hospital for quadruple billing for the very same treatment. It makes you depressed looking at those huge bills. Yes, hospitals and insurance companies are just greedy and we, the little people can sacrifice for that. I paid close to US $ 1,000 per month with a $ 5,000 deductible that I needed to pay out of pocket first. Nothing for medication, nor for dental care... We have had five very rough years paying for all my medical bills. Never would have imagined having to go through that at this stage in life... You sound like still being very blessed in all! May it last for a while to come, the way it is.

Karen @BakingInATornado said...

It's different here in the US. We have private insurance through my husband's work. The company pays a portion and another portion comes out of his paycheck. We have a choice of levels of coverage and sign up yearly for what will work best for us.
We also can have money removed from his paycheck, pre-tax (we decide how much) each year. When we have a medical co-pay, we use that money to pay it. This system works well for us.

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