Hospitals and medical professionals in Australia are world-class and you can expect the very best advice, treatment and follow up. Private hospital facilities are generally considered better – particularly in terms of waiting times and ratio of staff to patients.
Doctors can be connected with hospitals, have their own practice, or both. It is unusual for doctors to make house-calls. If you need to see a doctor outside normal hours, your doctor is for some reason not available or you don’t have a doctor you normally see, it is not uncommon to go to a medical centre instead, or to the emergency department of a near-by hospital. Medical centres have many doctors and it is best to make a booking as simply turning up can involve long waits.
Australian doctors can choose to bill you in one of two ways, either Bulk billing or by Account. This will be at the discretion of the doctor and will also depend on whether you have enrolled for Medicare. Bulk billing means your doctor bills Medicare directly, accepting the Medicare benefits as payment. Accounts means that your doctor will charge the fee directly to you. If you are enrolled with Medicare, you will be eligible to claim back a portion of this fee (usually 85 per cent of the schedule fee*) from Medicare.
(Note: The *schedule fee is a fee set by the Australian Government and not what your doctor charges you.)