Peculiarities Of Health Care System

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Medicare is Australia’s universal health insurance scheme established in 1984 that allows all Australian citizens (and citizens from countries with medical agreements with Australia) access to health care. Medicare is funded by the Medicare levy which is tax from most taxpayers (2%). Medicare covers public hospital visits and out-of-hospital visits like doctor consultations. The Australian Government of Canberra established a public Medicare system to provide free and optimal health care to all citizens as a human right and not a luxury, so you can take better care of your health and wellbeing Getting a Medicare card: In order to be eligible to get a Medicare card you have to be either

  • An Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • A permanent Australian resident
  • A citizen of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, or Lord Howe Island
  • Applying for a permanent residency in Australia
  • Covered by a ministerial order

You need to provide documents like:

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  • Your passport
  • Proof of citizenship; this can include a birth certificate or citizenship certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Any children you have

You can submit your Medicare enrollment form at a service center, where you will get your Medicare number immediately and your card 3 weeks later.

General Practitioners

A General Practitioner (Family doctor) is a doctor that is trained and specialized in the broad sense of health and medicine. GPs have a basic understanding of most illnesses and health issues so they can help prevent them by prescribing medicines. GPs can provide medical consultations, blood tests, flu shots, medical certificates, prescriptions, and prenatal advice.

General Practitioners hold your complete medical file and can give you the medical care that is best for you, so it is best to stay consistent with 1 single GP in your local area. You can choose any GP, whether that be nationally, culturally or linguistically similar to you.

Remember to consider: Whether a GP listens to you, whether they understand you, whether you feel comfortable with them, whether you prefer a female doctor or male doctor, the times the GP operates, whether it is close to your home or whether the GP meets quality standards, or whether the GP bulk bills

GP’s can give referrals to specialist doctors in certain areas of health like a podiatrist, neurologist, and psychologist. Referrals are letters that give a GP’s consent for you to go to another doctor to get a better check, referrals are under the Medicare rebate, so if you were to see a specialist doctor without a referral from a GP you would have to pay out of pocket.

When making an appointment with a GP (or any doctor) you must give your Medicare number, home address, time available for an appointment. You should tell the receptionist (nurse or not) any information regarding your health insurance plan and any prior medical information if it is your first time visiting a new doctor.

Specialist Doctors

Specialist doctors are doctors who are experts in a specific area of medicine. The doctors have expertise in these areas and can identify illnesses better than GPs, doctors like a podiatrist are experts in the field of feet and lower body health, whereas a doctor like a psychiatrist is trained in the field of psychological disorders and illnesses. Both of these doctors could give you wrong information when it comes to other fields of health and medicine but they would give you precise information in their field of study, that is why it is important to go to the right doctor – for the right problem – for the right information.

Out of pocket expenses and payments

Bulk Billing refers to the GP accepting the Medicare cover as full payment. Medicare covers $37.6 for a standard visit this refers to the schedule fee. Some doctors charge more than what Medicare covers, like $50 for a doctor’s visit for example. Medicare would still cover the patient but the patient would have to pay the remaining cost. This refers to the gap fee. Sometimes Medicare can refund you for out-of-pocket expenses, this is called a rebate.

You can claim your Medicare rebate either online via MyGov, at your doctor’s office, at your nearest Medicare service center, or by mail.

Emergency Situations

Life-threatening situations require urgent attention, people die every minute every day around the world so every second counts when responding to an emergency. Emergency situation require you to go to a hospital where a wide range of specialist doctors is present. Once a nurse has verified your conditions you will then be admitted into where you will get further assessments and care. As a patient, it is your right to be able to pick what treatment you want to have. Call 000 for an ambulance if an emergency is urgent.

For unsuspected medical illnesses, there are after-hour medical clinics, pharmacies that are open for 24-hours, and even medical hotlines like poisoning control and nurse on call.   


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