Higher Rock Education - Economics Blog

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Health care is a universal concern and every country has a different solution. Higher Rock Education plans to ask our international contributors to write about their system. Our Australian contributor expresses her frustration with the Australian health care system.

When was the last time you saved up all of your money and went on a spending spree at your local Medical Center?

Chances are, probably never. Well, not intentionally anyway. While many of us do shoulder thousands of dollars a year on medical expenses, few of us would choose to spend our money on medical assistance, if we didn't' have to.

Going to a doctor for a 10-minute appointment to discuss one issue (and one issue only) will set you back approximately $60, depending on your provider. If your doc is willing to bulk-bill you (meaning they will accept the minimal fee prescribed by Medicare in the Schedule of Fees), then the government will front the bill and your wallet will remain full and happy. However, the doctors in Australia who do bulk-bill usually have waiting lists or are simply not accepting any new patients. Fancy being sick and not being accepted as a new patient! How could this be possible? In Australia, it is.

But when you are on deaths door and broke, don't worry. Another option has been floated in Australia recently. You can call a House Doctor. All house doctor calls are 100 percent bulk-billed, meaning the government has got your back. This is a game-changer, as without this service, the cost of out-of-hours GP services could set you back as much as $400 after midnight. A doctor who comes to you, so you don't even have to leave the house when you are not feeling, looking, or smelling your best, will not cost you a cent. Unreal! So, what's the catch? The home doctor service commences nightly from 6 pm. I have been at home in the middle of the day with a baby with a high fever and no car to get to the doctor and have been unable to request a house call via this service as it wasn't yet out-of-hours. As my husband had our car for work, I was forced to put my already overheated baby into a pram and push her to the local Medical Center to seek help, which I had to pay for. The moral of the story? Make sure you don't get sick during the day!

To learn more about the Australian health care system visit: Australian Health System: How It Works.

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