It’s not uncommon for newcomers to Canberra to be surprised at the scarcity of bulk billing doctors. And it’s not a good surprise. However, they needn’t despair, as you will find there are some exciting innovations in Canberra that make access to bulk billing doctors much easier.
It’s upsetting not being able to get to a doctor when you, or worse, your child, needs medical attention. If you require a doctor that bulk bills, you need peace of mind that they are available when you need them and you can afford the visit.
What makes a good bulk billing medical centre?
If you have recently moved to a new area or you are looking to change your doctor, take some time and do some research before deciding on a healthcare professional.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a bulk billing medical centre.
- Quality care. Bulk billing or not, when it comes to your health and the health of your family you never want to compromise on quality. Your doctor should be well-trained, up-to-date with the latest medical care and thorough.
- Length of appointments. If you feel rushed during your appointment you may not be getting the care you deserve. Just because a doctor is bulk billing it doesn’t mean they should spend less time listening to your concerns.
- Location and opening hours. Do you often need to visit the doctor before or after hours? Take this into account when choosing a medical centre.
- Clear policies on bulk billing. Some medical centres only bulk bill patients with healthcare cards or children and seniors. Call first to confirm that you will be bulk billed for your appointment.
- Reliable appointment availability and short wait times. Waiting for one or two hours to see a doctor can be extremely stressful and inconvenient. Some bulk billing medical centres are “walk ins” and don’t make appointments. If this is the case, check with staff about wait times and decide if you can afford this time or you are better off going somewhere else.
The top three bulk billing medical centres in Canberra
After reading through your feedback and doing some of our own local research, we’ve come up with this list of the top three bulk billing medical centres in Canberra.
1. The National Health Co-op
The National Health Co-op is an amazing innovation established in 2004 by a group of community organisations and concerned citizens to address the shortage of bulk billing doctors in Canberra. Patients pay an annual membership of $10 per month (50% discount for concession cardholders) and children under 18 are free. Members then receive access to bulk billing doctors at any NHC medical centre in Australia. In the Canberra region there are eight NHC centres located in Macquarie, Belconnen, Evatt, Higgins, Kippax (Holt), Charnwood, Chisholm and Wanniassa.
2. The Hyperdome Medical Centre
The Hyperdome Medical Centre is located in Tuggeranong. The centre has a staff of eight dedicated doctors that all bulk bill if you have a valid medicare card. They offer a large range of services and extended opening hours, 8 to 9 weekdays and 9 to 4 on weekends.
3. My Medical Practice Charnwood
My Medical Practice Charnwood is a family-owned and operated practice with a small but growing staff that provide specialist care in women’s, men’s and children’s health. The team at Charnwood offer bulk billing to all patients with a valid medicare card. They have a Pathology onsite and open from 8.30 to 6 weekdays.
Your go-to medical centre in Canberra
Do you attend any of these medical centres? Do you know of an alternative bulk billing medical centre in Canberra? Share your experiences in the comments section below.