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TravellingGiraffe

Finding a GP

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Having read threads on here and online I am beginning to understand a little about the healthcare system in Australia (probably a good thing as I'm going to be working in it.)

I've read that you don't need to register with a GP and you can just turn up anywhere? Does that mean no one has any history on you? So I could turn up and claim to have all sorts of conditions I don't actually have and be prescribed medications I don't need? Not that I ever would! But you see my point. 

So my questions are:

Is it worth paying my UK GP for a copy of my medical records? I'm at the point where if I need them I need to do it fairly soon and its going to cost me £50.

I have a couple of long term conditions that require medications including 2 monthly injections. If I just turn up and say I need them are they going to believe me or want to do a whole load of tests to prove it?

How do I pick a GP? I rely on my GP a fair amount here in the UK as he manages my chronic conditions and gives me support rather than hospital consultants/specialists. It would be nice to think I could find someone who would do the same in Australia, especially as at the beginning I am going to have far less family support than I do at the moment and my health may will dip. Not being bulk billing isn't an issue if I feel comfortable with them and can get some continuity of care.

Any advice?

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If you have chronic conditions then yes it's worth getting your records from your current GP.  Although it is possible to visit any GP you want to lots of people do just keep going back to the same practise all the time.  At the place I go a new patient has to have a longer (and more expensive) appointment so the Drs can get a full history before dealing with the issue you have gone about.  Being able to visit any practise means that if you don't like the first place you go to you can try somewhere different.  Or, in my OHs case, if you go to Melbourne for work and forget to take your tablets with you you can go to the nearest GP and get some more.

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Agree with getting a record or letter relating to the ongoing conditions. I'd not bother with the full medical history personally though. I brought letters from my consultant to myself regarding my condition, test results, my medication with my name printed on the pack and that was enough. Verbal history from myself to fill in any other blanks. 

Once I knew where we were living I shopped around local GP's, found a lovely one, registered and found out they bulk billed. I only go to them now. All very simple :) The whole seeing any GP you like this is of course the principal here but honestly I know very few who go to any old GP each time. Pretty much everyone I know has a regular GP practice they attend/are registered with. 

ETA - GP practice I go to has 7 days a week opening hours and is open till 9pm weekdays and till 8pm on weekends. Plus they have things like a physio and podiatrist attached to the practice also. I make an appointment and it can be a week or two to see my actual GP (is a popular one) or can usually see any other within 24 hours. 

If I really need to see one that day and couldn't get in I'd maybe head to the Domain (a huge bulk billing sit and wait for hours place) but I've not needed to since registering with my current GP. 

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I switch between two mainly because of opening hours and appointment availability. The last one I went to I had booked my appointment, arrived on time and was informed the doctor was running late; which was fortunately OK for me on that particular day, almost 50 minutes later (good job I had my book with me) the doctor rushed me in and told me that I had to be quick because she was running late and flu clinic was about to start! Luckily for her it was a quick thing (I already knew what the problem was just needed a script!) I don't quite know what we'd have done if it was something bigger....

On the whole though doctors are easy - it just seems so much more complicated until you actually use them.

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They have started an online health thing now so all your records can be accessed wherever you go I believe. I think you had to sign up though. 

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