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Pay up to see doc

By GnT - 25 August 2009 34

As sepi has alerted us, Ginnindera and Phillip medical centres are ‘rolling back’ thier bulk billing services. Children and pensioners will still be bulk billed, but everyone else will pay $30 – $40 for a consultation.

Jon, Katy, Kevin, Nicola, anyone – please fix our health system! Doctors – please come and work here!

On the up side, it might decrease the waiting times.

UPDATE
Here’s the story from ABC on the money grabbing medical centres.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Pay up to see doc
Kramer 4:26 pm 25 Aug 09

Thankfully my work has just started allowing a stat dec for sick leave days – so’ll now be able to stay at home getting better (rather than waiting for 2 – 3 hours to see a doctor and get a piece of paper), and keep my $30. Let’s just hope I never get *really* sick …I guess there’s always Emergency for that.

c9 4:15 pm 25 Aug 09

It’s probably not a bad thing in some cases that this charge will put people off going to see the doctor – I imagine a lot of visits under bulk billing arrangements might as well not be made and because it’s free it’s too easy to go and see a doctor. On the other hand, the ABC article points out taht Canberra has the lowest levels of bulk billing in Australia so it is unfair that Canberrans should have to pay for something whcih the rest of the country gets for free.

JC 4:13 pm 25 Aug 09

paperboy said :

AG Canberra said :

And then getting a large chunk of that back from Medicare – so out of pocket is not much at all.

The $30 or $40 cost is ON TOP OF medicare. It’s not a refundable fee.

Don’t think so. They either bulk bill where you pay nothing or they don’t bulk bill and you pay the full price. If they don’t bulk bill then so long as the doctor has the required registrations you walk down to medicare and get $30 or so back.

Never heard of a place who bulk bills and charges extra on top of that.

Clown Killer 4:13 pm 25 Aug 09

An increase in the numbers of people clogging up hospital ER’s because they can’t afford to pay to see a doctor perhaps?

I doubt that the number of people who could genuinely not afford to pay to see a GP would lead to too much congestion at A&E.

On the other hand if you factor in the selfish dimwits who don’t have the money because they spent it on cigarettes, pokies, pay TV or any other of the working class ‘essentials’ then I guess you might have a point about congestion.

hjholden 4:08 pm 25 Aug 09

i believe i used that call lne your talking about braddonboy, either that or the CALMS line when i had a few niggling concerns about my daughters cough

shanefos 3:49 pm 25 Aug 09

screaming banshee said :

Ginnindera and Phillip medical centres can expect to see an increase in patient numbers as other Canberra residents discover how cheap it is.

My last visit cost me $58.

Er, offset against the decrease in patients who, until now, were getting free consultations perhaps?

An increase in the numbers of people clogging up hospital ER’s because they can’t afford to pay to see a doctor perhaps?

braddonboy 3:45 pm 25 Aug 09

You could possibly save yourself waiting time at a doctor’s surgery if you took advantage of the free telephone health information and advice service, healthdirect Australia (it used to be the ACT’s healthfirst, I think). It’s a free call (from a landline) to a registered nurse who uses sophisticated computerised decision support systems to provide advice on what to do next – and that advice might be as simple as visiting your nearest pharmacy for some cold and flu tablets at your convenience or as urgent as immediately directing you to the nearest hospital ED. The number’s 1800 022 222. This service is not a replacement for either the 000 emergency service or your doctor – but it may save you a visit to the surgery.

Raging Tempest 3:33 pm 25 Aug 09

AG, $32 (or thereabouts) is not a ‘large chunk’ when your doc charges $70 a pop – and this is at Phillip. Like most, if I could get in when I need to, no complaints, its the combo of the cost and the week waiting time that’s ridiculous.

paperboy 3:33 pm 25 Aug 09

AG Canberra said :

And then getting a large chunk of that back from Medicare – so out of pocket is not much at all.

The $30 or $40 cost is ON TOP OF medicare. It’s not a refundable fee.

niftydog 3:31 pm 25 Aug 09

Healthcare consumer advocate Russell McGowan:
“Healthcare is about providing the best possible services for consumers and clearly they’re not doing that”.

Price is only one aspect of providing a good service, Russell. These businesses are doing their level best to keep up with massive supply/demand shortfall – advocacy efforts should be focused on getting more doctor’s bums on seats, not laying the boot into businesses already doing their part.

I say bring it on – hopefully it’ll decrease the waiting times. Might make a few people think twice about chuckin’ a sickie if it’s gonna cost them something (aside from their dignity) to obtain a doctors certificate.

AG Canberra 3:19 pm 25 Aug 09

And then getting a large chunk of that back from Medicare – so out of pocket is not much at all.

hjholden 3:14 pm 25 Aug 09

Clown Killer said :

Jon, Katy, Kevin, Nicola, anyone – please fix our health system!

Fixing the health system is one thing. Protecting the health system against tightarses who couldn’t be fagged paying a lousy $40 for a consultation with a doctor is another thing altogether.

Agreed, i have no problem with pay to see the doctor, i’d have less of a problem if i could get in without having to make my booking a week in advance.

These medical centres have the right to make money just as much as anyone else but it seems everyone wants everything for free

housebound 3:01 pm 25 Aug 09

Wait until you have had a chronic illness, or a chronically ill family member, then $40-$70 to see a GP (times many, many visits), sometimes just to get a referal to a specialist, won’t seem so trivial.

Sometimes a bit of compassion can go places – not everyone is as genetically blessed as you.

screaming banshee 3:00 pm 25 Aug 09

Ginnindera and Phillip medical centres can expect to see an increase in patient numbers as other Canberra residents discover how cheap it is.

My last visit cost me $58.

Clown Killer 2:45 pm 25 Aug 09

Jon, Katy, Kevin, Nicola, anyone – please fix our health system!

Fixing the health system is one thing. Protecting the health system against tightarses who couldn’t be fagged paying a lousy $40 for a consultation with a doctor is another thing altogether.

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