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Doctors Appointments, visits and fees

OSHC Students – There are excellent family doctors, who are generally referred to as general practitioners (GPs), throughout Australia.

However, there’s a glut of doctors in most cities and metropolitan areas and an acute shortage (totalling around 1,000 GPs) in rural areas, where the ratio of doctors to population is less than half the national average. Therefore in rural areas and the outback, where you’re also served by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, you may need to travel some distance to visit a doctor.

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Doctors Appointments, visits and fees

Choosing a Doctor

It isn’t necessary to be registered with a doctor in Australia, where you can choose to visit any doctor, either as a Medicare patient (provided the doctor is registered with Medicare) or a private patient. Many doctors in the suburbs of major cities work at public clinics and medical centres, where a number of doctors have a group practice, at least one of whom is usually female (there’s a relatively large percentage of women doctors in Australia). Clinics and medical centres usually have an in-house pharmacy, and medical tests, such as blood and urine analysis and X-rays, may also be conducted in-house.

Fees

If you wish to be treated as a Medicare patient, you must check whether a doctor charges the schedule fee for consultations and bulk bills Medicare or whether he charges more (which may be $40 or more) and requires you to pay. Many doctors now charge more than the schedule fee, and in some areas you may have difficulty finding a doctor who doesn’t, although pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders are usually exempt from additional fees. If you wish to see a GP privately, you (or your insurance company) must pay the full fee, which is at the doctor’s discretion but is usually at least $50 for a routine consultation.

Surgery Hours

Surgery hours vary, but are typically from 8.30am to 6 or 7pm, Mondays to Fridays, with early closing one day per week, e.g. 5 or 5.30pm on Fridays. Evening surgeries may also be held one or two evenings per week. ‘Emergency’ surgeries may be held on Saturday mornings, e.g. from 8.30 to 11.30am or noon, when you can be treated without an appointment for urgent but not life-threatening problems. Most doctors’ surgeries have answering machines outside surgery hours, when a recorded message informs you of the name and telephone number of the doctor on call (or deputising service).

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If you’re an urgent case (but not an emergency), your doctor usually sees you immediately, but you should still telephone in advance if possible

Appointments

An appointment must be made to see a GP, usually one or two days in advance. If you’re an urgent case (but not an emergency), your doctor usually sees you immediately, but you should still telephone in advance if possible. Surgeries are often overrun, however, and you may need to wait well past your appointment time to see a doctor. Australian doctors make house calls, although these can be expensive for private patients.

Specialists

Medicare patients must always be referred by a GP to a specialist, e.g. an eye specialist, gynaecologist or orthopaedic surgeon. If you want a second opinion on any health matter, you may ask to see a specialist, although your doctor may refuse to refer you – in which case you can obtain a second opinion from another GP, who may agree to refer you, or you can consult a specialist as a private patient. Patients with private health insurance may be free to make appointments directly with specialists, although most insurance companies prefer patients to be referred by GPs. Most specialists have long waiting lists for Medicare patients.

Emma (OSHCstudents) – According to justlanded.com

 

News related

Baek Ah Yeon

I trust Allianz Care since it is one of the largest insurance companies in Australia, with the medical centres where I only have to pay for what is left from insurance support. (no need to claim later). Besides, those centres are located at the centre of the city, close to schools. Very convenient, right? Credits to Allianz Care for providing reliable medical centres for health check and treatments.

Baek Ah Yeon | University of Queensland

Ariella Pei

I’ve been living with homestay family for 2 years. I’m now 19, I can move out but I don’t want to leave my host, who has become my family. It feels like I’ve met my second family. Thanks OSHCstudents for sending me to this homestay!

Ariella Pei | University of Canberra

Chatchawat Paton

I realised how important insurance was when I started living in Australia. There I switched to using Allianz Care instead of the previous service. Allianz Care is extraordinarily good in its consulting service and customer care. I’ve learned a lot about Australian health care, also I was consulted with mental issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle. I am very happy now.

Chatchawat Paton | Torrent University

Xiaoyu Cheng

Thanks to Allianz Care, every time I claimed my medical receipts it processed much more quickly and easily than I expected. I was initially a bit concerned since Allianz Care is more expensive than other insurance companies, but now I can ensure that it is totally worth the money.

Xiaoyu Cheng | Monash University

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