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No wonder the accident and emergency rooms are stressed

By Brianna - 25 January 2012 40

My son today ended up with a piece of wood impaled in the ball of his foot. I was unable to remove the wood myself. This necessitated a visit to the medical practice to see if the clinic nurse could remove the wood.  I thought it was better to go to my local medical practice so I wouldn’t be attending the accident and emergency for a little thing, thus taking up valuable resources.

After this visit, I find I sympathise with people going to A & E for small problems.

The clinic nurse told me a doctor would have to look at it.  After the doctor had a look at it, he gave a local anaesthetic and after a suitable amount of numbing time, he proceeded to remove the wood.  To do this he had to cut the foot a little and so my son ended up with three stitches.

The hurtful part of this is that all up, it cost $305 of which I received a rebate of  $127 from Medicare.

I am fortunate to be able to sort of afford this medical bill.  How on earth do people on the pension or Newstart afford bills like this?  They can’t.  That’s why they go to the hospital accident and emergency rooms.  They can’t afford $75 for a doctors visit and they sure as hell can’t afford an extra $130 odd for a treatment.

Trying to find a doctor who bulk bills is virtually impossible.  

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
No wonder the accident and emergency rooms are stressed
BethiePrice 2:04 pm 25 Jan 12

dungfungus said :

You should have gone straight to the Walk Up Clinic at Canberra Hospital. I am sure they would have been able to attend to it and Medicare pick up the tab.

Depends on the age of the patient. They won’t look at anyone under 2. I think the Medical Centre in Colbee Court Phillip bulk bills patients under a certain age and/or if they have a pension card. anyone else you pay a discounted rate of $40 certainly much cheaper then the standard $70+ consultation charge.

Jethro 2:01 pm 25 Jan 12

deejay said :

dpm said :

Try living in another country. By global standards, Aus has pretty damn good public (i.e free/subsidised) health care…..

And higher taxes to pay for it. Historically, I’ve been quite philosophical about being taxed higher than virtually everywhere in the world, *because* it pays for all those services. But now that we’re dwindling down the drain towards health care US style? How about cutting the taxes to match? Or better yet, use the money for what it’s meant for.

Of course, the fact that we are actually a relatively low tax-paying country won’t interfere with your argument at all.

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/240185/20111030/australia-countries-low-taxes.htm

BallOfMonkey 1:32 pm 25 Jan 12

It wouldn’t be a that difficult to significantly improve medicare for any government that actually had the political courage do it and tread on the toes that’d need to be trodden on, same as with every other issue (dutch disease, housing, ect ect) facing Australia at the moment.

Of course! It’s so simple, why didn’t we think of this before!

We get the leaders and Government that we deserve, and from what I can see our current political machine is right on par with society in general.

deejay 1:26 pm 25 Jan 12

dpm said :

Try living in another country. By global standards, Aus has pretty damn good public (i.e free/subsidised) health care…..

And higher taxes to pay for it. Historically, I’ve been quite philosophical about being taxed higher than virtually everywhere in the world, *because* it pays for all those services. But now that we’re dwindling down the drain towards health care US style? How about cutting the taxes to match? Or better yet, use the money for what it’s meant for.

dpm 1:02 pm 25 Jan 12

Tetranitrate said :

dpm said :

Try living in another country. By global standards, Aus has pretty damn good public (i.e free/subsidised) health care…..

“it’s worse in the third world or the USA(third world) so shut up and stop expecting any better”
I’m so sick of this rubbish.

We’re at best middle of the range when compared to other developed countries and the state of some areas of health (eg Dental) is pretty bad compared to the more well developed and comprehensive healthcare systems that exist in European countries.

It wouldn’t be a that difficult to significantly improve medicare for any government that actually had the political courage do it and tread on the toes that’d need to be trodden on, same as with every other issue (dutch disease, housing, ect ect) facing Australia at the moment.

Hey, i’m just pointing out it’s the age-old battle of left versus right, regarding what health care we ‘expect’ the Govt to give us for our taxes.

Speaking of the other housing affordability thread, pehaps we can link it to this one with this comment from a RBA boss:
“The Deputy Governor of the RBA notes the following in relation to Australia’s house price to income ratio:
‘There are a couple of reasons why Australian households seem to be able to sustain a higher ratio of house prices to incomes. First, Australians seem to spend less of their income on non-housing consumption than is the case for US households, with a significant part of this difference explained by lower health costs in Australia. Australian households therefore have greater capacity to service housing loans.’
Additionally, according to this:
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2010/Jun/Mirror-Mirror-Update.aspx
we rank fairly well (3rd) at healthcare but are crap at access to it (as mentioned in this post)!

So, it’s all a bit confusing. If I was being a sh$t stirrer, perhaps I could say that maybe access to public healthcare is so clogged up in Aus as heaps of people (who could afford it, as the nice OP did) want it for free – so they can get their big loan and have their big house! 😉 Hahahaha!

Bosworth 12:12 pm 25 Jan 12

dungfungus, do you know how the Consolidated Revenue Fund works?

Tetranitrate 12:09 pm 25 Jan 12

dpm said :

Try living in another country. By global standards, Aus has pretty damn good public (i.e free/subsidised) health care…..

“it’s worse in the third world or the USA(third world) so shut up and stop expecting any better”
I’m so sick of this rubbish.

We’re at best middle of the range when compared to other developed countries and the state of some areas of health (eg Dental) is pretty bad compared to the more well developed and comprehensive healthcare systems that exist in European countries.

It wouldn’t be a that difficult to significantly improve medicare for any government that actually had the political courage do it and tread on the toes that’d need to be trodden on, same as with every other issue (dutch disease, housing, ect ect) facing Australia at the moment.

dungfungus 11:54 am 25 Jan 12

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

I agree with you that Medicare is a joke – this is because only a fraction of the Medicare levy on our taxable income finds it way back to health care.

You do realise that the Medicare levy only covers about 18% of what the government spends on health?

The information on the link refers to the Medicare levy “as a proportion of total amount spent on healthcare” – it does not confirm that all the Medicare levy is actually all spent on healthcare.

dungfungus 11:49 am 25 Jan 12

dpm said :

Try living in another country. By global standards, Aus has pretty damn good public (i.e free/subsidised) health care…..

But aren’t we the envy of all other countries? Having a good public health sytem is one thing but trying to access it when you need it is another.

davo101 11:03 am 25 Jan 12

dungfungus said :

I agree with you that Medicare is a joke – this is because only a fraction of the Medicare levy on our taxable income finds it way back to health care.

You do realise that the Medicare levy only covers about 18% of what the government spends on health?

dpm 10:02 am 25 Jan 12

Try living in another country. By global standards, Aus has pretty damn good public (i.e free/subsidised) health care…..

Mysteryman 9:46 am 25 Jan 12

Trying to find a doctor who bulk bills is virtually impossible.

I believe Canberra has the lowest rate of bulk billing doctors in the country.

dungfungus 9:44 am 25 Jan 12

You should have gone straight to the Walk Up Clinic at Canberra Hospital. I am sure they would have been able to attend to it and Medicare pick up the tab.
I agree with you that Medicare is a joke – this is because only a fraction of the Medicare levy on our taxable income finds it way back to health care.

harvyk1 9:19 am 25 Jan 12

Centrelink health care card…

PatMan 9:17 am 25 Jan 12

Try and find an accountant or a lawyer that bulk bills

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