"Chinatown"-Official media of Chinese Australians

In Australia, if you encounter an emergency and need to be sent to a public hospital, whether you have money or not, whether you are a tourist or an international student, you can be sent directly. The hospital will provide immediate treatment and will not require the patient to pay a deposit. If poor people in Australia get sick, they can eat, live and recuperate in public hospitals for free without paying a penny. However, apart from public and private hospitals, there is another very important existence that is our family doctor.

Please talk about family doctors in Australia

In China, I go to the hospital whenever I get sick; I go to this one today, and go to that one tomorrow.In Australia, unless you are in an emergency, you will not go to the hospital, or you will be thrown aside when you go to the hospital... What you need is a regular family doctor (General Practitioner—>GP).He will help you with minor illnesses; if you feel that your symptoms require further examination, he will refer you to a Specialist.All test results are given to the family doctor first, and then he will notify you; your family doctor will have all your medical history.

In Australia, it is very important to find a regular and good family doctor. No matter how good your English is, it is more convenient to communicate in Chinese for life-related matters; therefore, for Chinese living in Australia, it is recommended to find a family doctor who speaks Chinese.

If there is no fixed family doctor, can it work? No way! To give you a real example, a friend bought private medical insurance and suddenly suffered from acute pancreatitis in the 11th month. I went to a public hospital first and was dissatisfied with the services there; because I had private medical insurance, I transferred to a private hospital for 10 days. The service was good, but the insurance company quit. Private medical insurance usually has a waiting period of 12 months for pre-existing symptoms, to prevent those who know they are sick before buying insurance. The insurance company asked the friend to ask his family doctor to issue a certificate proving that he did not have this disease before. This friend was dumbfounded because he never had a fixed family doctor, so no doctor can give him this certificate. This example tells us that it is very useful to find a good family doctor, check with him frequently, and have a medical record.

Give you another real example. A friend had an immigration medical examination and was found to have too much sugar in his urine. The doctor asked him to go to the family doctor to prove that he did not have diabetes. The family doctor asked him to do a blood sugar check without saying anything. The result of the check was normal. The expenses incurred during this period must be "reimbursed" from the insurance company. The insurance company actually still asked the family doctor to certify that the friend did not have diabetes in the reply. The friend asked the insurance company: The test results are all normal. Do you need proof? Answer: Yes! Finally, the friend went to see the family doctor again, and after a certificate, the insurance company obediently gave the money. Therefore, the family doctor's certificate is very important.

The family doctor may not treat intractable diseases, but he knows whom to recommend you for treatment. Once again, family doctors are very important in the Australian medical system. The weight of the letter of recommendation he writes to you determines your priority for treatment in a public hospital; if he says that this patient is estimated to be in the late stage of cancer (but you are clearly in the early stage), the public hospital will treat you immediately.

Medical fees of family doctors

The family doctor can charge as much as he wants. For the rich, they are willing to spend more to buy a good service, so every time they see a family doctor, they don't think it is expensive to give $50; but for ordinary people, it is different.

Australians have used the Medicare system for decades to develop a reference standard for family doctor fees, which is about $37 per time; this $37 is the money the government is willing to pay for you every time you go to see a family doctor . If your family doctor charges you $50, you will have to pay $13 yourself. In order to prevent the common people from paying for themselves, the government proposed something called "Bulk Billing". Basically, if the family doctor agrees to use "Bulk Billing", then the government will give the doctor a little more money every time the doctor sees a patient. You only need to swipe your Medicare card when you see a doctor, and you won't have to pay a penny. So, if you are looking for a family doctor who does not spend money, just ask him if he is "Bulk Billing".

If your illness requires a minor operation, as long as the family doctor can do it, it will be included in his one-time charge; if you need blood and urine tests, do some pathological examinations, the family doctor will transfer you to a special Pathology Lab, such as Healthscope. Usually you can check up immediately, but the results will be sent directly to your family doctor. If there is a problem, the family doctor will call you immediately; if there is no phone call or letter, there is usually no major problem; if you are not at ease, you can call the family doctor in a day or two to ask the result. Usually these tests are free; if you are unsure, you can ask your family doctor.

Family doctor and expenses

Unfortunately, the family doctor’s prescriptions are all paid for by ourselves; one exception is that you have a Concession Card. If you have a low income or no job, you can apply for a low-income card. With a low-income card, no matter how expensive the medicine is, you can get all the medicines for only $5; and, if your annual medicine expenses exceed $1000, the government will pay for the excess. In other words, if you buy a medicine for $5 and spend $5000 a year, then you only need to pay $1000.

When talking about the charges for surgery, the first thing that needs to be clarified is the difference between emergency surgery (Surgry) and treatment (Treatment). Surgery is to get you into the operating room for a few dollars. Surgery is divided into emergency surgery and non-emergency surgery: emergency surgery refers to the operation that will be performed on you immediately after you are sent to the hospital because you are life-threatening, without waiting. If you are sent to a public hospital, it is free; the private hospital will save you first and then ask you for money. Emergency surgery refers to surgery that can be performed without rush. The usual definition is that the doctor believes that your symptoms can be maintained for at least 24 hours without life-threatening. This type of surgery can be done at the family doctor or in the hospital, depending on the specific situation.

In Australia, if you have an emergency, you can go to the hospital directly, and it is recommended by your family doctor. The family doctor will write to the hospital to tell you the treatment you need, and the hospital will make corresponding arrangements after receiving the notice, and then notify you to go for treatment. Usually, if you are accepted by a public hospital and have to stay in the hospital for a few days, then you are a "hospital patient" and the fee is free; sometimes, you just have to go to the hospital for a minor operation that can be done in one day Or a special examination, you do not need to be hospitalized at all, and you are considered a "hospital patient". As long as they are "hospital patients", they always have to line up to enjoy free public hospitals, so patients sometimes have to go to private hospitals or private specialist clinics.

Sometimes, you do not need to go to the hospital for treatment, and the family doctor will give you a letter asking you to go to a private specialist outpatient clinic; if this is the case, you are considered an "outpatient". For "unhospitalized patients", the government will pay you 85% of the cost of the expert outpatient clinic, and you will pay 15% yourself; here you have to declare that the cost here refers to the government charge reference price (Medicare Benefit Schedule Fee), Your expert doctor usually charges more than this, so the money you have to pay is likely to exceed 15%; in addition, the government also stipulates that private insurance cannot help you pay for the 15%, so as long as you are "not hospitalized" Patient", you will definitely spend some money yourself.

However, the government has Medicare Safety Net and Extended Medicare Safety Net. The former refers to that if you spend more than $388.80 on seeing a doctor as an "outpatient" during the year, then if you go to see a doctor later, the government will help You pay 100% of the cost; remember, the expert clinic may charge you $200, but the government fee reference price is only $100, then you have to pay $100 yourself. Extended Medicare Safety Net refers to the fact that if you spend more than $1126 or $562.90 (if you are poor) as an "outpatient" in the year, the government will help you pay for 80% of the part you have to pay. , So if you reach the level of Extended Medicare Safety Net, when your specialist clinic charges you $200 but the government fee reference price is only $100, then you can pay $20 yourself, and the government will pay for the other $80.

Afterword: the importance of private medical insurance

In order to see a doctor without queuing, in order to be able to go to private hospitals to enjoy better services, it is necessary to purchase Australian private medical insurance.

In fact, public medical services are also a kind of insurance, and premiums are deducted from our income. When filing taxes every year, you will see something called Medicare Levy, which accounts for 1.5% of your income. As long as you have income, you have to pay 1.5% tax to buy this Medicare Levy insurance; if your income is very low, you don’t even have to pay this tax, but you can still enjoy Medicare; if your income exceeds $77000, Or if the income of you and your spouse exceeds $154000, then you have to pay 1.5% of the Medicare Levy Subcharge on top of the 1% tax. How can we not pay the 1% tax? Then you have to buy a private medical insurance. Note that the income mentioned here refers to annual income.

The fact is that the government encourages everyone to buy private medical insurance early when they are young. There are regulations. If you buy private medical insurance from the age of 31, the government will help you pay 30% of the premium each year; when you are 65, you can also enjoy a 35% discount; when you are 70, you can even enjoy 40% discount.

Can you buy medical insurance if you are not a permanent resident of Australia? Yes! There are many insurance companies that provide private medical insurance for people who come to Australia to work or travel; if you have accompanying family members, they can also buy private medical insurance, which is about 30% more expensive than Australian permanent residents or citizens. It should be emphasized that if you are on a work visa because you are not a permanent resident or citizen of Australia, you do not need to pay the 1.5% Medicare Levy tax, because you cannot enjoy Medicare treatment; that is, when you get a tax refund , You can get the 1.5% tax back from the government, so you can pay less than an Australian permanent resident or citizen.

The article is reproduced from Tick Australia Station


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