Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A general rant against Canberra, and healthcare in particular

I just paid $145 to see a doctor. Because she talked too much, and the appointment ran over the alotted 15 minutes, I had to pay for a "long consultation". It's bad enough that a regular consult costs $75, but $145 (of which I'll get $60 back from Medicare) is just extortionate.

This wasn't even my regular doctor - to see her you need to book 2 weeks in advance, and lets face it, generally you don't know you're going to NEED a doctor 2 weeks beforehand!

This is health care in Canberra, where nobody but that dodgy doctor up at Dickson bulk bills. (Everyone in Canberra that you mention your suprise to about how nobody bulk bills invariably says, "Well, there is one guy up at Dickson, but he's pretty dodgy!"). Because apparently we're all cashed-up public servants with private health care, and we can afford it. Bullshit! Nobody should have to fork out $85 from their own pocket to go and see a GP for twenty minutes - that's just outrageous!

In Sydney I was really lucky. The doctors I had on-campus while at Uni were not only free, but excellent. Then when I left uni I moved to a local-ish female GP who was recommended to me by a friend. It cost only $10 above the Medicare rebate to see her, and there was certainly no time span, where if they talk too much or if you have questions they charge you double the fee!

Not only that, but you know what? This doctor that I saw this morning diagnosed me with 'excercise induced asthma'. I'm sorry, you've never seen me before today, and according to your breath-test thingy I have normal lung capacity for my height. But you're going to diagnose me with a new and potentially life-threatening illness like it's the flu, without even asking me any questions about my lifestyle LIKE FOR EXAMPLE DO I SMOKE???? As it happens I don't smoke, but I think perhaps there's more to a diagnosis as serious as this than just "Oh, you had a cough after some exercise? Just the once? You must have excercise induced asthma then!" And that wasn't even why I went to see her in the first place.

I found out yesterday that my contract at work has been extended until June 30 2011. On the one hand it's good news, because we're assured of at least ONE income in our household for the next year, and I am just getting into the local roller derby scene - good to know I can commit to at least another year in Canberra with that. But geez lord, sometimes this town gives me the raging shits and I can't wait to get the hell outta here! My only stipulation for when we do leave is that wherever we go has gotta have a derby team!

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