"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 Australians get sick, they can eat, live and recuperate in public hospitals for free without paying a penny, while rich Australians have to compulsorily pay private medical insurance. Is this fair? Let's talk about the relationship between Australian public hospitals and private medical insurance...

Talk about family doctors in Australia

在澳洲,除非急症,不然不会去医院,或者去了医院也会被扔在一边……你需要的是一个固定的家庭医生(General Practitioner—>GP)。 他会帮你看小病;如果觉得你的症状需要进一步检查,他会把你转到专家门诊(Specialist)。所有的检查结果都是先给家庭医生,然后他会通知你;你的家庭医生会有你所有的病史。

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 with life-related matters in Chinese; therefore, for Chinese living in Australia, it is still recommended to find a family doctor who can speak 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.

Talk about the fees of family doctors in Australia

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.

Bulk Billing


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.

Medicine fee (the medicine prescribed by the family doctor):

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 medicines are, you can get all the medicines for only $5; and if your annual medicine costs 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.

Surgery and treatment:

When talking about the charges for surgery, the first thing that needs to be made clear 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

Emergency surgery refers to an operation that will be performed on you immediately after you are sent to the hospital because your life is in danger, 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.

  • Non-urgent surgery

Non-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.


The treatment is after you have a few surgeries in the operating room or you don’t need to have surgery or you can’t have surgery, but you have to cure your disease through medical methods (for example, tumors are first opened and then chemotherapy) . If you have a mental problem, what you need is not surgery, but treatment.

In short, what we need to do in real life in Australia is to understand every detail as much as possible to protect our medical benefits. Of course, having a healthy body is better than anything else!


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