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.

5 thoughts on “Seeing a doctor

  1. The process is similar in the US except the billing which can bankrupt someone even with insurance.
    I went to the doctor recently and encountered something totally new and infuriating, the Sub-Waiting Room. I waited the standard 20-30 minuts, then they called me back and told me to wait in the next step of waiting, the su-waiting room! What kind of mad trickery is this? Just leave me in the regular waiting room if the doc isn’t ready.

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