Providing health care is a demanding, changing and expensive business. New technologies are emerging constantly, knowledge increases daily and the expectations of patients and government grow. Recognising these factors, we strive to provide the highest standards of care based upon current knowledge and yet remain attentive to the impact our decisions have, both for our patients and the economy. We provide care for all members of the community and do not specialise in any one area.
We will strive to provide time to deal with your problems in a compassionate and professional manner to provide the very best quality health care. For this reason we deliberately do not provide universal bulk-billing. Bulk-billing refers to direct billing Medicare who then pay the practice between 85% and 100% of the fee Medicare once considered reasonable for the service. The fees we set are derived from the government‘s Medicare Schedule and the AMA‘s Schedule. The latter has simply moved with CPI.
While on the surface bulk-billing seems attractive, it actually has many faults. It prevents consumers from seeing the costs of the health resources they use so that people have come to regard health care as ‘free’. Also the payments have dropped further and further behind inflation since Medicare began in 1983. GP rebates have barely risen since 1994. Costs, however, continue to rise so that many bulk-billing practices have had to abandon low-paying services (such as longer consultations and suturing wounds) in favour of short, easy-paying services. The end result is rapid patient turnover leading to incomplete care. We have elected to charge above the Medicare rebate as this allows us to spend more time with people and to maintain stocks of infrequently used materials. We also provide services often seen as unprofitable by some medical centres. We are aware that people sometimes attend bulk-billing clinics for ‘simple’ problems and attend our practice for the ‘big’ problems. This fragments care and reduces trust between patients and doctors.
Should you be unhappy with any aspect of the care you receive at this practice we are keen to discuss it, preferably at the time. Experience shows that most such problems arise through a misunderstanding that can be readily clarified. If you feel there is a problem needing outside assistance, you may prefer to contact the Health Quality & Complaints Commission, GPO Box 3089, Brisbane 4001 or telephone on (07) 3120 5999.