How much do I have to pay?
For routine consultations Pensioners and Government Health Care Holders are Bulk Billed. Procedures are privately billed for everyone but fees are heavily discounted for Pensioners and discounted for Health Care Card Holders.
To enable us to bill you correctly please show your Medicare and any Concession Cards you may hold to the receptionist on arrival.
As of November 2010 we amended our billing policy for patients with current pension cards and children under 16 years.
On most occasions we will directly bill Medicare for surgery consultations in business hours however, private fees will apply to afterhours consultations.
For an example of our fees please go to the fees and services tab on this website.
What are your billing arrangements?
We expect payment at the time of the consultation. You can pay with cash, credit card or EFTPOS. If you have already registered your bank details with Medicare, when your receipt is processed here, the details can be sent to Medicare and Medicare can credit your rebate within a few days directly to your account. If you prefer, you can go to a Medicare office which is located at Centrelink Office in Bromfield Street, Colac and claim your rebate, our receipt and your Medicare card are necessary if claiming in person.
Are there any situations where I may be bulk billed?
How you are billed is a matter between you and your doctor. As a general rule we do not bulk bill consultations but we may bulk bill Pensioners and Children under 16 . If you have a particular concern in this regard, you will need to discuss it with your doctor or the Practice Manager.
What is the waiting time like for doctors?
Appointments for urgent things are arranged on the day. For routine matters, the wait for an appointment varies. If you want to see a particular doctor, or need a particular time slot, it may take a week or two until a suitable appointment is available.
How long is a normal appointment?
A standard appointment is usually 15 minutes. Please ask the receptionist to book a long consultation if you need a general check-up, have more than one problem to be dealt with or need a consultation that will include counselling. If the doctor has asked you to arrange an appointment for a procedure, they will indicate how long will be needed for that procedure, and whether our treatment room needs to be booked as well.
What if I have to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
We understand that sometimes circumstances change and you may not be able to keep an appointment. Please let us know as far ahead as possible, so that the appointment can be allocated to another patient. Patients who repeatedly make an appointment and then do not arrive, may find it difficult to make appointments in future, and may be asked to pay in advance.
Do I need an appointment for a script, referral or certificate?
Medicare requires that you have a referral letter from your GP to see a specialist. It is illegal for referrals to be backdated. Therefore, we request that you make an appointment with your GP at least one week prior to your specialist appointment so that your GP can write a letter containing all the relevant information.
Prescriptions usually last 6 months, so that necessary checks can be done before you continue on. It is important that when you fill the last repeat, you make an appointment with your doctor so that a new script can be provided in a timely way. It is usually possible to synchronise scripts if you are taking several medications, so that they come due together.
A certificate states that the doctor has seen you and that you are fit/unfit. So you do need to be seen if you need a certificate.
Why is my doctor running late?
We try hard to keep to time, however injured and unexpectedly ill patients can, and do, cause delay. You can help too. Please ask the receptionist to book a long consultation if you need a general check-up, have more than one problem to be dealt with or need a consultation that will include counselling.
Can I get my test results over the phone?
It is important that you ring reception for your results, usually about a week after the test has been collected. It helps if you can ring in the afternoon. The doctor writes a short message on the result, which is what the receptionist will read to you. If you need further information, you may need to make an appointment to discuss the result with your doctor.
Can I get a family member's test results over the phone?
Privacy laws make it illegal for us to disclose any information about a patient, even to family members, without their prior consent. If you want a family member to have access to your results, you will need to ask the receptionist to note that in your file before you leave.
Can I talk to my doctor over the phone?
Unfortunately, doctors will not generally be able to take patients’ phone calls during a consultation as it is important to keep interruptions to a minimum. The doctor will return your call as soon as is practicable. If the matter is urgent please let staff know the nature of the urgency so that your call can be dealt with appropriately. Many things are best discussed in person, especially as an examination may be needed to sort the problem out.
Can I get any medical advice over the phone?
If you need to be seen urgently, please let our receptionists know and tell them the general nature of the problem. If necessary they can direct you to our treatment area for assessment by our trained nursing staff.
Do your doctors make home visits?
Home visits are available if the patient is unable to come to the surgery.
How are my medical records kept?
Our medical record is kept electronically, so that whichever doctor or nurse you see, can find what they need to know to help you manage your health. Results of blood and xray tests are sent to the Practice electronically, so they can be added accurately to the file. Many specialist letters are now also sent this way, as are hospital discharge summaries. Paper letters are scanned so they can be stored electronically too.
What do I do if I have a complaint or a suggestion?
We would like to improve our service. If you have had any problems with our care, our after-hours emergency cover, the hospital or our specialist colleagues or wish to comment on any other matter, please contact us.
Experience has shown that if you have a problem with one of our doctors it is best to speak to him or her first. If you are still unhappy we would like you to write a letter to:
Your feedback is important to us so please write.
Should the matter not be resolved to your satisfaction after bringing it to our attention you may wish to contact the Office of Health Services Commission at:
Office of the Health Services Commissioner
|or write to:||Health Services Commissioner
570 Bourke Street
How do I contact the doctor after hours?
FOR AFTER HOURS MEDICAL CARE PLEASE TELEPHONE THE USUAL NUMBER AND YOUR CALL WILL BE DIVERTED TO THE DOCTOR ON CALL.
YOU CAN ALSO ATTEND THE ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT OF COLAC AREA HEALTH AT 2-28 CONNOR STREET, COLAC. YOU WILL BE TRIAGED BY THE EMERGENCY NURSING STAFF AND THEY WILL CONTACT OUR ON CALL DOCTOR
IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY PLEASE RING 000 AND CALL AN AMBULANCE. FROM A MOBILE PHONE THE EQUIVALENT TO triple O is 112. Press 112 on your mobile phone for emergency assistance.
Will you remind me when I am due for my pap smear or a vaccination?
A system for reminders for ongoing health checks/preventative activities is available. Discuss this with your doctor. If your doctor thinks it useful, your name will be included in the system.