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3 Piccos

Visit to the Doctors

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I was quite worried before coming to Australia about the costs of health care. I have a disabled husband who needs to see a doctor every month for treatment. I am so pleased to report that the experience we have had since arriving has been fantastic. We have found there are quite a lot of bulk billing (free) surgeries around the area we are in (north eastern suburbs of Melbourne) and you can actually see the same doctor when you visit if you are willing to wait. My husband woke up yesterday with a very bad rash which was spreading at a rate of knots. I rang an advice line and spoke to a nurse who was so helpful. After lots of questions, she suggested a visit to the doctor. Some of the surgeries around here are open Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 8pm, some to 11pm. We went to the surgery, was seen within 10 minutes, had great treatment from an extremely friendly doctor, who not only gave us verbal information but printed off three pages of information off the internet regarding my husband's problem whilst we were there. Never had that treatment in the UK at a GP surgery!!! I feel much more relaxed about everything now. I am told that some places in Australia, one being Tasmania, do not have bulk billing surgeries. Make enquiries before forking out money to see a doctor. Just because it is free, does not mean you get inferior treatment.:biggrin:

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I am told that some places in Australia, one being Tasmania, do not have bulk billing surgeries.

 

This is completely untrue. I don't know where you are getting your information about Tasmania but, judging from some other repeated information in an earlier post of yours, it is not the only piece of incorrect advice you have been given about this state.

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Guest siamsusie
Ient in the UK at a GP surgery!!! I feel much more relaxed about everything now. I am told that some places in Australia, one being Tasmania, do not have bulk billing surgeries. Make enquiries before forking out money to see a doctor. Just because it is free, does not mean you get inferior treatment.:biggrin:

 

Bulk Billing is obtainable all over Tasmania, there are obviously places that dont participate but we belong to a rural practice as well as a Launceston practice and have had no problems with BB.

My inlaws in Hobart also have BB with no problems either.

 

Edited also: St Vincents (Private) actually partake in many of Medicare's procedures on behalf of Launceston General Hospital and these are all bulk billed as well.

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This is completely untrue. I don't know where you are getting your information about Tasmania but, judging from some other repeated information in an earlier post of yours, it is not the only piece of incorrect advice you have been given about this state.

 

The information has been obtained on this site. Other people have stated that Tasmania is more expensive than mainland Australia, and that bulk billing surgeries are not available (may be where they live). I do not make things up and do not intentionally make incorrect statements. When I have stated in a post that Australia is not as expensive as I had been led to believe, I add that this may not be the case in all places, such as Tasmania or Western Australia, as I do not want to mislead people. I do know that one of the people who posted this information has now left the site, due to others being very touchy and becoming rude and offensive in their replies. I now understand what she meant.

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Bulk Billing is obtainable all over Tasmania, there are obviously places that dont participate but we belong to a rural practice as well as a Launceston practice and have had no problems with BB.

My inlaws in Hobart also have BB with no problems either.

 

Edited also: St Vincents (Private) actually partake in many of Medicare's procedures on behalf of Launceston General Hospital and these are all bulk billed as well.

 

I am so pleased that people in Tasmania have access to bulk billing surgeries, as will prospective migrants reading this post.

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Guest siamsusie
I am so pleased that people in Tasmania have access to bulk billing surgeries, as will prospective migrants reading this post.

 

Yes 3 Piccos.... I guess it depends where you live of course, but I have never encountered a problem . My husband has a large family all over Tasmania (being Tasmanians) and they appear to be all BB'd. My own GP commenced me on a $15 billing for some reason for a few weeks which was excellent in comparison to northern WA where a $100 bill was the norm:mask:but I was soon put onto bulk billing which suits my pocket better.:wink:.

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In my head Tasmania had a lower figure for bulk billing along with the ACT (43%) compared to the Australian average.

 

I can't remember for sure, but maybe in the past I have mentioned that Tasmania had a lower rate of bulk billing, along with the ACT, and 3 Piccos got that a bit muddled and remembered it as no bulk billing rather than a lower rate? If I did, apologies 3 Piccos as that makes me partially responsible for the mix up :wubclub:

 

It is in fact the NT that has the second lowest rate, along with the ACT.

 

For the record, here are the current percentage of GP visits bulk billed (ie free) as at Sep 2010:

 

NSW 84.2%

QLD 77.7%

VIC 77.5% 77.2%

TAS 73.9%

WA 71.4%

NT 65.3%

ACT 43.7%

 

Australia Average 78.8%

 

 

I think your post will relieve a lot of people because I imagine when moving to a new country the medical system would be a major concern - australia's medical system is more confusing than the british one I think and some people make the mistake of being referred to private doctors without even realising public options exist. It also has different strengths and weaknesses compared to the british one and like the nhs can vary greatly by location.

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Ive lived here for 7 months and I still don't understand bulk billing at all!!

 

But what I will say is that you can't put a price on peace of mind. I say this because as a warfarin taker I have to go to my doctors very regularly for INR checks, I chose to join a surgery that does not bulk bill (although I still don't know what this means!) but that doeqs the thumb prick test there and then rather than needle in arm, blood sent to labs, waiting all afternoon for results.......

 

They asked me in the beginning if I had Medicare (from UK am eligible even on 457 but understand not for existing conditioned so didn't register) when I said NO the doctor immediately decided to charge me the lower fee of $34 instead of $65 apparently that's what patients who are on medicare pay. he is a wonderful doctor, I feel well cared for, the appointments are made to suit my convenience and I am eternally grateful for the peace of mind I now have, just my own opinion but I think the $34 I spend every 3 weeks is probably the cheapest $34 I ever sent and I wouldn't have it any other way.

 

Just my opinion but you cant put a price on peace of mind.........

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Guest Guest31881

Hi Jessie,

 

As you are not registered for medicare you could not be covered by bulk billing anyway, basically instead of charging you the $34 the doc charges medicare direct and you do not have to pay anything. That's the simple explanation. Doctors who do not Bulk Bill charge the patient and they receive a refund from medicare for part of the bill.

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Ive lived here for 7 months and I still don't understand bulk billing at all!!

 

But what I will say is that you can't put a price on peace of mind. I say this because as a warfarin taker I have to go to my doctors very regularly for INR checks, I chose to join a surgery that does not bulk bill (although I still don't know what this means!) but that doeqs the thumb prick test there and then rather than needle in arm, blood sent to labs, waiting all afternoon for results.......

 

They asked me in the beginning if I had Medicare (from UK am eligible even on 457 but understand not for existing conditioned so didn't register) when I said NO the doctor immediately decided to charge me the lower fee of $34 instead of $65 apparently that's what patients who are on medicare pay. he is a wonderful doctor, I feel well cared for, the appointments are made to suit my convenience and I am eternally grateful for the peace of mind I now have, just my own opinion but I think the $34 I spend every 3 weeks is probably the cheapest $34 I ever sent and I wouldn't have it any other way.

 

Just my opinion but you cant put a price on peace of mind.........

 

Bulk Billing = Free <-- That is all there is to it :biggrin:

 

Are you sure you are not eligible for preexisting conditions? The reciprocal agreement does say it will not cover "treatment arranged before your visit to Australia" but not sure that covers your situation? Maybe you should register anyway as a lot have reported no problems using it on a 457.

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Guest flakey

What are the benifits of private heath cover over medicare please?

Is it worth getting and Would you be seen as cheating the system if you claim "bulk billing" if you can afford to pay it?

:confused:

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Thank you for the replies! Im a long term warfarin user on a 457 so I know i can't claim via Medicare but I'm more than happy to pay $34 a go and I think thats cheap!!! I do know I should register for Medicare in case anything does happen to me and family whilst we are here and that is covered by reciprocal arrangements but I havn't because I don't want anything at all to affect our chances of getting PR......

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I think it depends on the area you live, the GP's in my area only bulk bill for children and older adults ... to get bulk billing we'd have to travel out of area (we're in Perth)


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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What are the benifits of private heath cover over medicare please?

Is it worth getting and Would you be seen as cheating the system if you claim "bulk billing" if you can afford to pay it?

:confused:

 

The answer or your second question is no - bulk billing is offered by some doctors and it is totally your choice which doctor you go to - you do not have to take off your gold watch :wink:

 

The main advantage of private health cover is that if you need "elective" surgery some specialties may have a long wait depending on where you live. If this was the case and you had private insurance you could use a private hospital instead.

 

Private hospital cover is often packaged up with "extras" cover. This "extras" cover covers things like dentistry, glasses, physio - ie allied health stuff not covered by the public system.

 

You can just get private hospital cover, just get "extras" cover, get both or none.

 

If you don't have private health and you do get stuck in an elective surgery queue you can often just buy your way into a private hospital which sometimes works out cheaper than paying the premiums for years.

 

If you earn over a certain amount and do not have private hospital insurance (note nothing to do with "extras" cover) the govt charges you an extra 1% tax as a levy surcharge in your annual tax return. Because of this many high earners get private cover as they figure it is almost as cheap as the surcharge. Some people don't use their private insurance and still use the public system to avoid the sometimes expensive co-payments their private policy has. You have every right to do this.

 

 

Levy Surcharge Income Limits:

 

Single $77,010

Family $154,000

+ gets higher with each child you have.

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Guest flakey

Thanks Fish.

For some reason my thanks button doesn't work.

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The information has been obtained on this site. Other people have stated that Tasmania is more expensive than mainland Australia, and that bulk billing surgeries are not available (may be where they live). I do not make things up and do not intentionally make incorrect statements. When I have stated in a post that Australia is not as expensive as I had been led to believe, I add that this may not be the case in all places, such as Tasmania or Western Australia, as I do not want to mislead people. I do know that one of the people who posted this information has now left the site, due to others being very touchy and becoming rude and offensive in their replies. I now understand what she meant.

 

I was not accusing you of making things up or intentionally making incorrect statements: I was trying to say that whoever had supplied you with the information was incorrect. I think it important that any prospective migrants have as much correct information as possible in order to make the best possible choice for themselves. It would be a tragedy if they dismissed a potentially good area out of hand merely because they were given incorrect information.

 

The earlier comment about Tasmania being more expensive is a case in point. Some things are dearer, for example petrol is generally a bit more expensive than most other areas on the mainland. However real estate is cheaper - sometimes considerably cheaper - and for most people their real estate component, whether mortgage or rent, is a major part of their expenditure.

 

I certainly am not touchy, rude or offensive - anyone who knows me will vouch for the opposite. But I will correct facts if I know they are wrong.

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Many thanks Fish01 for your very polite and informative post.

 

What I would say though is, I do not think that people who go to doctors who bulk bill get inferior treatment. Since arriving in Melbourne in early December I have been to two different surgeries who bulk bill and they have both been excellent. Actually, much better than the GP's I was under at home in the uk. There was no feeling of being rushed out the door, he took his time and provided a brilliant service. As Fish01 said, the only difference is the doctor bills Medicare direct. I am a very happy patient.

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Thank you for the replies! Im a long term warfarin user on a 457 so I know i can't claim via Medicare but I'm more than happy to pay $34 a go and I think thats cheap!!! I do know I should register for Medicare in case anything does happen to me and family whilst we are here and that is covered by reciprocal arrangements but I havn't because I don't want anything at all to affect our chances of getting PR......

 

Registering for reciprocal medicare is not going to affect your chances of PR.

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Thank you for the replies! Im a long term warfarin user on a 457 so I know i can't claim via Medicare but I'm more than happy to pay $34 a go and I think thats cheap!!! I do know I should register for Medicare in case anything does happen to me and family whilst we are here and that is covered by reciprocal arrangements but I havn't because I don't want anything at all to affect our chances of getting PR......

 

You should register for medicare. I can't see why it would affect your chances of getting PR.

 

I managed to get a vasectomy done on bulk billing. Just rang around a few doctors and found one not too far away who did the op in his surgery. My friend was having his done at the same time and payed a lot for it. He had a general anaesthetic though. I just had a local and went to the pictures with my youngest after the op. Anaesthetic started wearing off half way through the film though, so turned out to be a bad move.

:biglaugh:

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You should register for medicare. I can't see why it would affect your chances of getting PR.

 

I managed to get a vasectomy done on bulk billing. Just rang around a few doctors and found one not too far away who did the op in his surgery. My friend was having his done at the same time and payed a lot for it. He had a general anaesthetic though. I just had a local and went to the pictures with my youngest after the op. Anaesthetic started wearing off half way through the film though, so turned out to be a bad move.

:biglaugh:

Oh my, how did you manage to sit down? What devotion to your youngest:notworthy:Perhaps if you hadn't been bulked billed they might have given you a longer effective anaesthetic. (only kidding)

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Guest guest30038

Since coming here I've had a hernia repair (they did a vasectomy for me also as I cheekily asked for it as they were wheeling me into the theatre), a prostectomy, and a quad by-pass. The by-pass was done within a week of presenting to GP, the prostectomy 3 weeks, and the hernia 8 weeks. All within the public system, and, I am informed that privately, I would have waited longer, unless the private system utilised the public system, which they often do.

 

Again, I presented to the gp yesterday morning after ringing for an appt the previous arvo with hip and foot pain...........long time, ongoing, but thought it was just aging so only mentioned it yesterday when I went for a repeat prescription. I was x-rayed in the afternoon (bulk billed) and received a call from the GP this morning to come and see him in the arvo. I've just got back after being informed I've got athritis in foot and hip, and, although it wasn't requested on the x-ray request, multiple foci and calcification of the prostate (yet again) :rolleyes: ..............36hrs for confirmed diagnosis plus a dx not requested :shocked:............I'm prepared to bet you wouldn't get that in the private sector, or if you did, it'd be pretty rare to do so. I'm also prepared to bet that if I was in the UK, I wouldn't even have gotten an appointment by now.

 

Can't fault the public healthcare that I and my family have received in Oz, although 7 scripts a month knock me pretty senseless..........roll on 65 and concession card...........if I survive that long :biglaugh:

 

kev

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Guest guest30038
You got your money's worth there Kev. lol.

 

:biglaugh: When I asked if they could do the vasectomy at the same time, the surgeon said, "you're supposed to have counselling before getting the nod"

 

I replied, " I've got 5 kids of my own, 4 foster kids, am on one income with a huge mortgage, and my wife is 12 yrs younger..............consider me counselled" :biglaugh:

 

kev

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Guest AndyandYvonneD
Since coming here I've had a hernia repair (they did a vasectomy for me also as I cheekily asked for it as they were wheeling me into the theatre), a prostectomy, and a quad by-pass. The by-pass was done within a week of presenting to GP, the prostectomy 3 weeks, and the hernia 8 weeks. All within the public system, and, I am informed that privately, I would have waited longer, unless the private system utilised the public system, which they often do.

 

Again, I presented to the gp yesterday morning after ringing for an appt the previous arvo with hip and foot pain...........long time, ongoing, but thought it was just aging so only mentioned it yesterday when I went for a repeat prescription. I was x-rayed in the afternoon (bulk billed) and received a call from the GP this morning to come and see him in the arvo. I've just got back after being informed I've got athritis in foot and hip, and, although it wasn't requested on the x-ray request, multiple foci and calcification of the prostate (yet again) :rolleyes: ..............36hrs for confirmed diagnosis plus a dx not requested :shocked:............I'm prepared to bet you wouldn't get that in the private sector, or if you did, it'd be pretty rare to do so. I'm also prepared to bet that if I was in the UK, I wouldn't even have gotten an appointment by now.

 

Can't fault the public healthcare that I and my family have received in Oz, although 7 scripts a month knock me pretty senseless..........roll on 65 and concession card...........if I survive that long :biglaugh:

 

kev

 

Nursing home next:tongue:

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Guest guest30038
Nursing home next:tongue:

 

I'd be better looked after than I am at home :cry:

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