Thursday, October 14, 2010

Health Care

I went to the doctor today. My visit was $90, of which I had to pay $30. Twice as much as the co-pay back home, but then everything is twice as expensive here.

She sent me to get a new glucose monitor that measures in Aussie numbers. I was worried that the screen would be upside-down but it turns out its exactly like my American one, only more expensive (cost me $10 after rebate instead of free, like in America). On the other hand, the test strips are also half the price. Go government subsidies!

She had to call a government hot-line and ask permission for a prescription. She apologized for this, explaining that some meds were expensive enough that government had an extra layer of controls on them. I told her I understood, and that in America she would be calling an insurance company, not the government.

The doctor also told me to eat less fruit and more chocolate. Is this a great country or what?


  1. Weird.
    What is the wait like to see a doctor.
    I here it's really long in England, just wondered if it is that bad in Australia.

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  3. I remember my doctor in America had a policy of same-day appointments - provided you called starting at 8:00 AM (and the appointments were usually gone by 8:05). Otherwise I recall it was weeks to get a doctor's appointment.

    We made an appointment with 2 days notice, and we had our free choice of doctors. The doctors don't actually work for the government, like they do in England. Instead they are in private practice, and the government pays a certain rate ($30 a quarter-hour). If your doctor charges more than that (like mine does), you pay the difference: but there are many doctors who "bulk-bill," i.e. only charge the government rate so you don't pay them anything.

    I've interacted with the medical system here before (to the point of being in a hospital on the day before Christmas) and it's every bit as technically good as American care, somewhat friendlier, and (from my eperience) a lot less crowded.

    Really, the health care system here is great. I made a comment about it recently, and the person I was talking to said, "But you're fixing it, right?" He has a lot more faith in American politics than I do. :D

  4. Wow... Blogger doesn't let you edit comments. Not even your own.

    Apparently they wish to capture every stream-of-consciousness typo permanently. It is bizarre to me that I have to be more careful with the comments than I do with the blog posts themselves.

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