lorluc

Being ill in Australia.....recent experience...

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    I thought i'd post about our recent experience of the health service here in Adelaide, hoping it may help to ease some worries that i know newly arrived immigrants and those on their way do worry about.

     

    First of all, will point out that we dont have private healthcare...so everything i'm about to say has all been done via Medicare....but we do have Ambulance Cover as part of our extras insurance. Please, please make this one of the first things you do when you get here....Before arriving in Australia, 3.5 years ago, never had to call an ambulance before...now done it twice! A bill of $700 is not what you want!

     

    Some of you know already, i know......but my husband was taken ill on Easter Sunday. An ambulance was called, and arrived very quickly. The paramedics were excellent. Arrived at Flinders emergency around 10pm...took till 3am to find him a bed on the ward...but hey..no complaints, the health service is stretched here as well.

     

    He had his own private room with bathroom......the nurses and doctors were great. He had procedures done on the tuesday..which he had to wait for as monday was a public holiday. One nurse who was caring for my husband was an newly arrived english nurse.....she had worked on a similar ward in the UK. She was amazed at the treatment he got...In the UK, he would have been sent home, and wait for all procedures in out patients...possibly waiting weeks if not months! At least we knew a certain amount within 48 hours...He needs more tests, which will be done within a month as an outpatient which will also include a consultant appointment....

     

    The other thing I feel is important to mention is sick leave over here. From memory, in the UK, you get your entitlement to sick leave...this is given to you from day one.....well, here it has to be accrued. You may get a job and be told you are entitled to say..10 days sick leave a year....but it has to be accrued.

     

    Just comes as a bit of shock when you are signed off work for a month!

     

    3 years ago, my little lad was taken ill and had treatment at Flinders....again it was excellent then...so from our experience, not much has changed!

     

    I had an op in march, after being referred in December....3 months waiting......

     

    Alot is made about having private health insurance.......sometimes i think it can scare people into getting it.........hoping i have put some minds at rest..

     

    Lorraine

    x

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    I've never had any complaints about Medicare either - always had good, prompt treatment. I was referred to Flinders last March for some exploratory tests involving a small op and from the day of seeing my GP, then two consultant appointments, to the day of the op was just under 6 weeks ..... I'd say that was really quick.

     

    My only bugbear at the moment is having been unable to get in to see a GP at Marion Domain because of the ever growing queues there (my daughter recently waited FIVE HOURS to see the first available GP), I have transferred to another practice, only to find out that my medicals records are NOT my property, nor that of Marion Domain, but are actually the property of a private company in Sydney and I can, if I wish, pay $55 for the privilege of having a copy sent to my own GP!!!

     

     

    Anyways, I know Lozza's hubby is on the mend and all will be good soon, but hell, it's been a sh*t week for her. BIG HUGS - I'm popping round tomorrow night for a cuppa!

     

     

     

    PS ............. he didn't really get sick cos I was out fishing with him a few hours before he was taken ill, I'm not that bad!

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    i agree cant fault the healthcare although i did have an unpleasant experience at flinders where my mobile phone was stolen.

     

    Having worked in a private hospital i wouldnt bother unless you have an ongoing illness already ie diabetes. I had my gall bladder out within 2 months of being referred!!

     

    I have to say though that leave conditions here are crap for nurses compared to the nhs.4 weeks leave and only 10 days sick leave is appalling.I had 8 weeks in uk and could have 6 months full pay if ill. As ive changed jobs ive not had a holiday since we got here and only time off ive had is when i was sick again unpaid. plus i have to wait a yearr to take hols,as im part time i dont get public hols either, ive booked 2 weeks in nov which means ive only got 2 weeks for next year!!!!:swoon:So this has finally been another nail in the coffin for us and we are saving to go home!!!:o

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    Guest Trakki

    I agree that there are good and bad points but on the whole better here. Personally as a nurse myself unless you are going into a private hospital (and I can't comment on those as never worked in one) I would not bother with private cover. I have found it a nightmare when we have a private patient in (a public hospital) as no other doctors will make a decision until they have spoken to the consultant the child has been admitted under. This can often mean delays in treatment and discharge, obviously in an emergency they treat but we get so many irrate parents saying, 'I am a private patient and I am having to wait longer than the others' They get the right arse when you say that its because they are private it is taking longer as their consultant cannot be contacted or is not back in the hospital for 3 more hours. :chatterbox:

     

    Have finished by rant now but apart from a few extras cover ie ambulance + dental I wouldn't bother with private. I know some on some visas have no choice though.

     

    Sorry to rant, anyone guess this was an issue at work today!!!!:)

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    I get 6 weeks leave and 150 hrs of sick leave. I work over a 7 day roster though. nurses who work on a 5 day roster (week days) get 4 weeks, same as all other government workers. Teachers .....LOL....of course get many more..

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    Guest kangomik

    your sick leave is rolled over i am told, and not lost every year.

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    Guest Libby1971

    Rachiegarlo knew I was here and would not be able to resist! lol

     

    Lorluc, sorry you are having such a tough time. I do so feel for you all. :wubclub::wubclub:

     

    Take care and thanks for the post

     

    I'm a teacher, don't know what my entitlement is, don't care coz I use it all up every year within 6 months away!

    Our experience is that both my daughters have medical conditions that require a consultant. Within 6 months, one had had 2 xrays and 2 consultants appots and the other had had 2 appts with the consultant, and a scan. I rang up on Wednesday the week before last, and we saw a consultant on Monday. Great stuff.

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    I get 6 weeks leave and 150 hrs of sick leave. I work over a 7 day roster though. nurses who work on a 5 day roster (week days) get 4 weeks, same as all other government workers. Teachers .....LOL....of course get many more..

     

     

    which is still pants though compared to uk conditions which was my point lol....sigh here your penalised for being part-time too. anyway hope you feel better soon lorluc

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    Rachiegarlo knew I was here and would not be able to resist! lol

     

    Lorluc, sorry you are having such a tough time. I do so feel for you all. :wubclub::wubclub:

     

    Take care and thanks for the post

     

    I'm a teacher, don't know what my entitlement is, don't care coz I use it all up every year within 6 months away!

     

    good for you ,but after 18 months with no time off it gets a bit tiring though with a 3yr old :biglaugh:

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    Guest Libby1971

    I was healthier with a three year old. Dealing with everyone else's 13 year olds makes me ill though!!

     

    Are you seriously thinking of going back?

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    your sick leave is rolled over i am told, and not lost every year.

     

     

    That depends on which industry you work in, and your employer.

     

     

    Back to hospitals ........ my son had an op in Flinders Private last year. His wife, in-laws and myself were visiting him one evening and were dumfounded when one of the nurses came into his room, made herself comfy on the empty bed next to his, and switched on Home & Away, telling us she NEVER misses it when she's at work! We just didn't know what to say, and she certainly didn't have the common courtesy to ask us if we minded if she came in. Obviously TV was her main priority over patient care and comfort.

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    Guest smit

    Lorraine

     

    Sorry to hear about John....................give him a kick up the jacksee from me and tell him to get well soon

     

    cheers

     

    ian

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    I was healthier with a three year old. Dealing with everyone else's 13 year olds makes me ill though!!

     

    Are you seriously thinking of going back?

     

    yes 101 reasons :v_SPIN:

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    Oh and prescriptions are expensive as well............no free stuff for kids!

     

    Spent over $100 on Thursday for my husband's medication.....and another $72 today for my daughter!!!!

     

    May be able to get a little bit back on one of them as it is not covered by PBS...so i can claim a bit back through my insurance....but not much i think....

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    yep some things are good n better but there are going to be some stuff that's not. That nurse sounds very unprofessional, most of the doctors and other healthcare workers I have met, worked with and dealt with are very professional. But then my memories of the NHS are only to do with pregnancy and dental, never having been very sick as a child and only preggy as an adult.

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    Guest stufi1997

    just thought I'd add my tuppence worth.....It's the GP's that annoy me, they charge you for your consultation according to their sliding scale (normally $55 I've found) of which we can claim $33 from medicare so I reckon $20 isn't too bad BUT they don't do much...they will often get you referred to a specialist, for example Stu went to the doctor with an ear infection that wasn't clearing up, he asked for antibiotics which cost $13.78 and he was referred to a specialist ear, nose and throat guy, who then charged another $157 and gave him a prescription for drops costing $26 and he'll see if they work in a month...........couldn't the GP have done that??? they do like their specialists here

    Have to say the hospital works well though.....haven't had to personally use them but have been there many times with clients.

    We don't have health cover only reciprocal medicare

    Fiona

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    For general run of the mill stuff I go to one of the large bulk bill centres , try to get there early though cos at busy times you can have a long wait.

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    Guest stufi1997

    :err:there's another reason not to stay in victor......no large bulk billing practices:arghh:

     

    we have bulk billing doctors but have to wait for ages to see a doc cause they're full up with repeat appointment oldies....the doc's bread and butter if you ask me:biglaugh::biglaugh:

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    First of all Lorraine,so sorry to hear about Jon.I wish him a speedy recovery.

     

    On the health front Oz has been asomewhat of a double edged sword for us.I will forever be grateful for the diagnostic capabilities here in that despite appts with specialists and endless tests i was failed to be diagnosed with celiac disease which by the time it was diagnosed here ,i was quite seriously ill as my intestines had been severely damaged and as celiac prevents minerals and vitamins from food being absorbed properly.Hence i now have to take a very expensive daily cocktail of all sorts of supplements.In addition i have to eat very specialised foods and copious supplies of fruit and veggies which as you can imagine is incredibly expensive.In addition it has also resulted in a host of other food allergies which in turn has exacerbated my asthma and sinus allergies.Cost of meds and drs visits a nightmare scenario.

     

    Hubby-despite seeing a specialist in the Uk for bad snoring.NHS were not prepared to fund a sleep study.Thank god for the Adelaide sleep clinic,hubby was diagnosed with very severe sleep apnea .there were episodes as long as almost a minute and a half when he would stop breathing.The upshot is if it had not been diagnosed and had to have a CPAP breathing machine he could have been dead with either a stroke or heart attack by now.I will always be grateful to oz for that but he has to pay for equipment and everything himself which on poor pay is very hard.We cant get life insurance or private medical insurance as premiums are far too exp.

     

    Daughter was again fobbed off in uk with constant tiredness and generally run down, vit deficiencies and severe anemia and diabetes weres diagnosed as well as severe wheat allergy,which if not caught early could have been very serious.

     

    Brilliant med treatment but the downside is that due to hubby constant changing jobs,through redundancy,sacked for going to hosp appt with daughter,etc he has had only 2 weeks hols in almost 4 yrs we have been here.I am gravely concerned about repercussions to health of this.We havent had any hols as a family in that time.In Uk we both had at least 4 weeks and i had 6 weeks and lucky for me a whole yrs paid sick leave.

     

    I can entirely understand what Clare means as if you have health probs two weeks sick leave a yr isnt anywhere near enough,but the wages are so low that there is never opportunity to put money aside and with a good salary and benefits in uk i could afford all the insurances under the sun,not here.

     

    For us the lack of hols and sick leave has caused us substantial problems.All the planning and research couldnt have prepared us for all that has happened since we arrived.Hubby has had two workplace accidents in recent months i worry everyday about him..

     

    Health issues without family support and constant worry are very difficult to deal with.

     

    Think carefully about the repercussions if one of you couldnt work or the kids are not well.

     

    Sorry for rambling but people need to be prepared If the NHS had been as on the ball we would never have come in the first place.

     

    Sue

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    Guest stufi1997

    bloody hell.....sounds horrendous, Wishing you all good health for the future xx Fiona

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    First of all Lorraine,so sorry to hear about Jon.I wish him a speedy recovery.

     

    On the health front Oz has been asomewhat of a double edged sword for us.I will forever be grateful for the diagnostic capabilities here in that despite appts with specialists and endless tests i was failed to be diagnosed with celiac disease which by the time it was diagnosed here ,i was quite seriously ill as my intestines had been severely damaged and as celiac prevents minerals and vitamins from food being absorbed properly.Hence i now have to take a very expensive daily cocktail of all sorts of supplements.In addition i have to eat very specialised foods and copious supplies of fruit and veggies which as you can imagine is incredibly expensive.In addition it has also resulted in a host of other food allergies which in turn has exacerbated my asthma and sinus allergies.Cost of meds and drs visits a nightmare scenario.

     

    Hubby-despite seeing a specialist in the Uk for bad snoring.NHS were not prepared to fund a sleep study.Thank god for the Adelaide sleep clinic,hubby was diagnosed with very severe sleep apnea .there were episodes as long as almost a minute and a half when he would stop breathing.The upshot is if it had not been diagnosed and had to have a CPAP breathing machine he could have been dead with either a stroke or heart attack by now.I will always be grateful to oz for that but he has to pay for equipment and everything himself which on poor pay is very hard.We cant get life insurance or private medical insurance as premiums are far too exp.

     

    Daughter was again fobbed off in uk with constant tiredness and generally run down, vit deficiencies and severe anemia and diabetes weres diagnosed as well as severe wheat allergy,which if not caught early could have been very serious.

     

    Brilliant med treatment but the downside is that due to hubby constant changing jobs,through redundancy,sacked for going to hosp appt with daughter,etc he has had only 2 weeks hols in almost 4 yrs we have been here.I am gravely concerned about repercussions to health of this.We havent had any hols as a family in that time.In Uk we both had at least 4 weeks and i had 6 weeks and lucky for me a whole yrs paid sick leave.

     

    I can entirely understand what Clare means as if you have health probs two weeks sick leave a yr isnt anywhere near enough,but the wages are so low that there is never opportunity to put money aside and with a good salary and benefits in uk i could afford all the insurances under the sun,not here.

     

    For us the lack of hols and sick leave has caused us substantial problems.All the planning and research couldnt have prepared us for all that has happened since we arrived.Hubby has had two workplace accidents in recent months i worry everyday about him..

     

    Health issues without family support and constant worry are very difficult to deal with.

     

    Think carefully about the repercussions if one of you couldnt work or the kids are not well.

     

    Sorry for rambling but people need to be prepared If the NHS had been as on the ball we would never have come in the first place.

     

    Sue

     

    Yo be fair though sue they took ages to diagnose me in the uk, its usually the last thing they look for.

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    Fiona,many thanks for your kind words.

     

    Clare,i know it isnt the first option,but i had been complaining of stomach pain and serious GERD for over a year and had been fobbed off with ulcer meds.In addition i had been under an ENT specialist at the hospital for over 2 yrs for serious bouts of sinusitis.He had determined that i had a serious allergy to something, but my Dr refused to refer me to an immunologist,saying as i had asthma and allergies i had atopic tendencies and there was no need.Wrong!

    In addition i kept getting hives on my stomch all the time and it turns out that i had had a skin condition on my leg which dr treated treated as Eczema, which in fact was dermatitis Hypeteformis,a massive red flag for celiac.

     

    Sadly i have found that the NHS whilst trying to keep down spending are missing a lot of serious issues which could be caught a lot earlier on.I have a lot of friends in the medical profession and know their hands are often tied by the ever increasing red tape, which is taking away funding from where it is needed.Which is a terrible shame.

     

    On the prescription side of things,especially for children it is a godsend.I know people here who need vital meds but cant afford it.A sorry state of affairs.

     

    Sue

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    Guest katsmajic

    Hope Jon recovers quickly :wubclub:

     

     

    My experiences of health care here have been fantastic to be honest.

    Me personally - went to hospital at end of March when my knee gave in on me - Ive had a knee reconstruction so knew something was wrong when it gave in on me - waited 4 hrs - in that 4 hours on a friday night i saw 2 drs, had 6 xrays and got referred to Flinders...

    2 weeks later i was in Flinders seeing the specialist, he called in more senior specialists, referred me to physiotherapy and said i have to return 3 monthly for assessment.

    Started physio already, start hydrotherapy next week - twice weekly for 3 weeks then reassessment etc to see how im progressing.

    In the middle of this i chopped the end of my thumb off at work - 3 visits in all for that.

     

    All the staff ive seen have been fab and its all on medicare or work cover.

     

    Daughter - think most people have seen the blue ringed octopus thread i posted - the care she received was amazing. Shes had alsorts of other bits and bobs done since with her breaking bones etc...wrist/collar bone etc...

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    Fiona,many thanks for your kind words.

     

    Clare,i know it isnt the first option,but i had been complaining of stomach pain and serious GERD for over a year and had been fobbed off with ulcer meds.In addition i had been under an ENT specialist at the hospital for over 2 yrs for serious bouts of sinusitis.He had determined that i had a serious allergy to something, but my Dr refused to refer me to an immunologist,saying as i had asthma and allergies i had atopic tendencies and there was no need.Wrong!

    In addition i kept getting hives on my stomch all the time and it turns out that i had had a skin condition on my leg which dr treated treated as Eczema, which in fact was dermatitis Hypeteformis,a massive red flag for celiac.

     

    Sadly i have found that the NHS whilst trying to keep down spending are missing a lot of serious issues which could be caught a lot earlier on.I have a lot of friends in the medical profession and know their hands are often tied by the ever increasing red tape, which is taking away funding from where it is needed.Which is a terrible shame.

     

    On the prescription side of things,especially for children it is a godsend.I know people here who need vital meds but cant afford it.A sorry state of affairs.

     

    Sue

     

     

    Very similar story to myself, went on for years, only the fact i got admitted to the ward i worked on and a gastro consultant i worked with admitted me he tested me asap. Its annoying but its not just an aus thing, most coeliacs i know have gone through similar. As for nhs well i agree, but it doesnt have infinite resources to investigate every minor thing, frustrating as it is, thats what happens in a free system. Im all for people paying towards their care, for one it might stop alot of people abusing the system, but thats another debate :biglaugh:

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    I've had experience with the RAH, W&C, QEH and Noarlunga. I have no insurance at all. Noarlunga being my best experience. QEH being the worst. I had 3 major bowel operations as a result of the first going wrong at the QEH which left me temporarily "disabled" for 10 months which I won't go into here. Luckily I'm all ok now but I don't want to go through what I went through at the QEH ever again. You have to pay for the tv at the QEH too and its not cheap. Noarlunga was free!

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