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Psychiatry in Canberra.

By Myself - 7 May 2009 70

Why is it that there are no bulk billing psychiatrists in canberra any more?

Mine has just decided to go from $0.00 to $200.00 just to write a script.

What concerns me is the unavailability of psychiatric care for people other than the rich or extremely poor. 

Upset….. 

What’s Your opinion?


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70 Responses to
Psychiatry in Canberra.
byt2007 1:24 am 08 May 09

$200 sounds like the fee for an initial, or “new referral” appointment. New referral appointments are ones where the patient has either not seen the specialist for over 12 months, or the GP has referred them for a new matter.

It is simply not good medical care to keep doling out a script year after year with no consultation. Patients often expect to be able to get scripts written out when they have not seen the doctor in over a year. This would be irresponsible in many cases (even if after the consultation, the medication regimen is not altered).

I believe that repeat consultation fees would be in the $70-90 range, with a $34 Medicare rebate.

The Medicare rebate is about $80 for initial specialist consultation appointments (104 item numbers). So for a $200 fee you’re out of pocket by $120, or much, much less if you have hit your Medicare safety net threshold.

All in all, if you are only having annual psychiatry consultations for maintenance of a stable medication program, it costs less than getting your car serviced.

willo 11:08 pm 07 May 09

bd84 said :

The little voices in my head tells me that price is expensive

you are just jealous cos the voices only talk to ME!

bd84 10:55 pm 07 May 09

The little voices in my head tells me that price is expensive

TP 3000 10:48 pm 07 May 09

The ones through ACT Health are all right. I’ve met quite a few over the years & they all are quite nice & helpful. My family members current ACT Mental Health person even has to power to admit this family member to a medical ward within The Canberra Hospital. But I suspect that this is only provided as this family member receives Centrelink payment

Quokka 8:40 pm 07 May 09

About 1 in 5 Australians suffer from a mental illness, and GP’s manage 75-90% of patients with mental illness in the community. So GP’s actually treat much more mental illness than you might realise. Psychiatrists often only treat the more complex or severe cases…

monomania 8:13 pm 07 May 09

Quokka said :

Ask your GP for a referral to your local community mental health team, or alternatively your GP can actually treat most uncomplicated mental illness.

And what might they be.

Depression: “Have this prescription filled.”

Phobias: “Have this prescription filled.”

Bipolar disease: “Have this prescription and this prescription filled.”

Schizophrenia: “Better go and see Dr.V*#*&&”

Psycosis: “Better go and see Dr.V*#*&&”

Quokka 6:52 pm 07 May 09

Ask your GP for a referral to your local community mental health team, or alternatively your GP can actually treat most uncomplicated mental illness.

You can find contact details for the adult community mental health teams at:
http://health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=da&did=10051295&pid=1061351823

If you need urgent support then there is a 24 hour Crisis Team (1800 629 354 or 62051065)

Igglepiggle 6:35 pm 07 May 09

There is no such thing as “just filling out a script” . The appointment is also to review your current health , determine if the medication is doing the job, if indeed you still need it, adn to determine if there are new treatments that may work better etc etc. Otherwise you’d just get a script for life at the first appointment. And there are still costs for that- costs of rooms, reception staff, admin, utilities etc. And most docots drive the same suburban vehicles the rest of us do…Theres a lot more doctors than porsches in Canberra…

cantanga 4:25 pm 07 May 09

Igglepiggle said :

Probably because the medicare rebate doesn’t even cover the actual cost of providing the service, let alone allow your psychiatrist to make a living.

Yeah because a script really uses $200 of pen ink to fill out. Get real, there is no cost intensive service that they are passing on.

jimbocool 3:24 pm 07 May 09

Medicare rebate is plenty for psychiatry. My mother is a psychiatrist in Sydney and bulk bills all her patients. Full 1 hour consults too. There is no reason a Canberra psych can’t have a successful practice bulk-billing – it’d be hard to keep up the lease payments on the Porsche though…

Igglepiggle 2:58 pm 07 May 09

Probably because the medicare rebate doesn’t even cover the actual cost of providing the service, let alone allow your psychiatrist to make a living.

luther_bendross 11:55 am 07 May 09

$200 to see a psychiatrist? That’s (wait for it……………..) crazy!

Inappropriate 11:21 am 07 May 09

You should still get a medicare rebate; I’m only out of pocket by $50 at the end.

NiroZ 10:08 am 07 May 09

My psychiatrist bulk bills me.

peterh 9:58 am 07 May 09

doesn’t the psychiatry department at TCH take on private clients? pehaps a chat with your gp might find you a new psychiatrist at bulk bill rates.

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