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FAQs Continued

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fees

 
  1. What are your fees?
    Please click here to access our current fees for our most commonly-used consultation service.
  2. Do you discount your fees for pensioners and those on government concession cards?
    Yes. Please ask for details and see "What are your fees?".
  3. How can I lower my medical costs?
    There are many ways to lower your medical costs, some of which include:
    • Visit the doctor only when you think you need to, but always attend if you are in doubt.
    • Attend a doctor who prescribes only the medication that you really need, and no more - medication bills can add up.
    • Avoid taking expensive (and usually un-subsidised) unproven remedies from 'health' stores, and even from pharmacies, for which there is no reasonable proof that they work.
    • Ask your doctor to go through your medication list with you from time to time - to clean out any 'dead wood' that you don't need any more.
    • Don't ask for repeats of medication that you don't really need.
    • Avoid requesting or taking antibiotics for 'viral' illnesses like the common cold.
    • Ask you do doctor if any of your medications, for which you take largely than normal doses, can be obtained more cheaply under the 'Authority' system.
    • Check which medications that you need before you come to see the doctor - so that you don't have to come back.
    • Ask your doctor if cheaper medicines are available that will do exactly the same job when compared with better-known 'brand' products (but see elsewhere in this FAQ about 'generic substitution').
    • Attend a doctor that only orders the tests that you really need - tests can cost money and take up your time.
    • Seeing 'alternative' or 'complementary' health care providers can cost you a lot of money, which is a particular problem if there is no rational or scientific basis for the service provided.
    • Attend a GP and a medical practice that can handle most of your needs 'in-house' without the need for unnecessary specialist referrals. Unnecessary specialist referrals can cost you a lot in fees, tests and procedures, that you might have not otherwise needed.
    • Use our Telescript and Telepath services if you don't really need to see us for a particular prescription or to find out a test result; see our Services page for more information.
    • Workers should see us at our evening surgery so that you don't have to take time off work.
    • Live a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity, healthy lower-fat diet, moderation in alcohol intake, no smoking or illicit drug use, appropriate amounts of restful sleep, and having appropriate regular health checks.
    • Keep all of your vaccinations, including those of your children, up-to-date. Enquire about new vaccines like, for example, that for chickenpox, which can avoid your children catching the disease so needing time off school and parents requiring time off work to look after the sick child.
    • Sign-up for the Medicare-Plus safety-net.
  4. Why did you withdraw your in-house safety-net system (and so stop bulk-billing me when I had visited the practice a certain number of times and qualified)?
    The government finally introduced a superior safety-net system in 2004, and so we have adopted the system.
  5. I don't always have money in my pocket when I see the doctor, can you help?
    Yes. We provide a limited credit facility (conditions apply, ask for details) so that you don't always have to pay on the day that you see the doctor. However, it is always much better that you do pay on the day if you can, this will mean that you will get your Medicare rebate sooner, and will avoid us having to send out reminder notices to you.
    We also have credit card and EFTPOS facilities available. New patients should note that they are required to pay the cost of their first consultation in full immediately after they have seen the doctor. Please note that, if you have failed to pay your accounts on time in the past, then you may be required to always pay, at minimum, the 'gap' on the day.
  6. Do you provide a 'discount' for paying on the day?
    No. Please note however that there is an accounting charge for all outstanding amounts not paid after 30 days - please enquire for more information.
  7. Why did the doctor charge more for a longer consultation?
    It is reasonable that longer and/or more complex services attract a higher fee. It is also important that patients can spend the time that they require with the doctor, but it is also important that the doctor gets paid appropriately for that time. Our reception staff will be happy to let you know the fees for longer consultations - please ask.
  8. What should I do if I think that I need a longer consultation?
    You may think that you have a problem(s) that will take more time. If so, ask to be booked for a longer consultation - sometimes even half-an-hour or more could be necessary.
  9. I injured myself at work and my employer has disputed the workers compensation claim. Can I see a doctor and do I have to pay the account in full?
    Unfortunately employers or their insurance companies dispute workers compensation claims from time to time and you may be forced to wait until the workers compensation tribunal makes a decision in your case. This can mean that you suddenly receive no wages paid by your employer's insurer (if you are off work) and that your workers compensation doctors' bills are no longer paid by the insurer. If you find yourself in this situation and you still need to see your doctor there are procedures that allows the doctor to receive part payment of his or her services until your case his resolved at a hearing.
    In this situation Medicare will pay a rebate, which will cover part of the cost of providing the service. We are willing to accept this part-payment and leave any balance owing until your right to claim is resolved by the appropriate tribunal.
    Once the workers compensation Tribunal makes it's decision, your employer's insurance company may be then be responsible for paying the balance on your account, as well as reimbursing Medicare for the amount they have paid. If the decision of the Tribunal does not go in your favor you may be responsible for the unpaid balance.
  10. I haven't paid my account for over six months, despite your regularly writing to me and/or talking with me on the telephone, and it seems clear that I don't intend to pay, what happens next?
    It is quite possible that you will receive formal written notification from us that we will not provide you and other family members who live with you any further medical services, and that you will need to attend another doctor in the district and/or the local hospital to satisfy your medical needs.
  11. I didn't get your letters about my account or other notices because I no longer live at that address, so now what?
    It is your responsibility to formally notify us of any change in your postal address. If you fail to notify us about any change in your postal address, or make arrangements to ensure that you receive all mail sent to that address, then your last known postal address will be deemed to be your legal postal address for the delivery of letters and notices.
  12. What happens if I never pay my accounts?
    It is likely that your debts will be placed with a debt collection firm. Your debt will then be likely to remain on a national computerised debtors system until it is paid. Please note that these debtor systems are often accessed by organisations such as banks and credit unions before loans or credited are granted.
 
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