FAQ

While some of the doctors have full books, most of the doctors have availability to take on new patients. 

Please call 03 5991 1222 and reception will help you find a doctor who suits your needs.

Unfortunately, we cannot issue a Medicare rebate until the full consultation amount is paid. Although we wish it were possible, Medicare does not currently allow patients only to pay the gap payment, and it is illegal for us to offer this. We do hope this will change in the future.

As we offer many services, there is unfortunately no straight-forward answer to this question. This will depend on the doctor you see and the complexity of your appointment. Please call the front desk to discuss your individual needs and circumstances and we will gladly provide you with personalised advice. However, ultimately it is up to the individual doctor to set the fee for a service provided.

We do not accept walk-ins for standard appointments.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency, we recommend you call an ambulance or attend the closest hospital. 

We recommend you call the clinic before intending to arrive with any urgent medical problem to ensure there is a doctor who can attend to your emergency.  Availability of doctors can vary and you may not be able to see the doctor of your choice, but if we are able to see you, we will always endeavour to see you as soon as possible.

Although we appreciate that life can bring about financial pressures, the doctors are not able to bulk bill every patient. 

Casey Medical Centre doctors have bulk billed as many patients as possible, for as many years as we could.  We have tried to be sensitive to the need for patients to receive quality care and access to a doctor and have always tried to make this as affordable as possible for the last 40 years.   

Unfortunately, the Medicare rebate for bulk billing does not meet the cost of running a practice and the escalating costs of providing quality care – covering the doctor’s time and where relevant the nurse’s time, in the dedicated treatment room. 

The rebate currently is well under 50% of what the Australian Medical Association recommends as an appropriate fee for General Practice consultations and as numerous media reports have reported, bulk billing has unfortunately been shown not to be financially viable for medical practices to remain open, and some are even having to close the doors of their clinics.

To put it simply, the Medicare rebate has not kept pace with the significant escalation in the costs of running a medical practice.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has made the following (directly quoted) observations about General Practice funding in August 2022:

  • Between 2012 and 2022, Medicare rebates increased by an average of just over 1% each year.
  • Rebates for standard GP consultations were completely frozen (i.e. did not receive an annual indexation increase from the government) between 2014 and 2018.
  • Inflation rose by 6.1% in the 12 months to June 2022, however in July 2022 the rebate for a standard GP consultation increased by just 65 cents to $39.75 – a 1.6% increase from the previous year. This does not cover the significant increase in costs that has occurred over the course of the rebate freeze.
  • The average out-of-pocket cost for patients is now higher than the Medicare rebate for a standard GP consultation.

We are passionate about being able to serve the community with the best possible medical care and not compromise on quality, for decades to come.  As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to start charging for weekend and public holiday consultations provided to aged pensioners and children under 16 – two groups of patients we have previously bulk billed. This reflects the increasing cost of providing this care during these hours of operation.  This commenced on September 1st, 2022.

A full list of the fees will be on the website or at reception if you would like further information about this.

We appreciate your understanding regarding this challenging decision.

Medicare provides a safety net for patients, couples or families if a threshold of out-of-pocket expenses is reached.

You will not have to register for this if you are a single, but you will have to register if you are a couple or family.  You can follow this link to register:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/ms016

For information regarding the details about the safety net, you can follow this link:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/medicare-safety-nets

Unfortunately, General Practice and the provision of medical care can be extremely unpredictable and we never know what is about to ‘come through the door’.  Although doctors don’t like to run late and we certainly know this might inconvenience people, it is sometimes unavoidable and outside our control. 

In particular, the common reasons we might run late are because we are dealing with somebody who is very unwell and taking time to work through significant medical issues, they might be elderly or frail, have difficulty communicating with us, or a patient might have mental health issues which take time to try and sort out. 

Of course, emergencies are the other main reason we fall behind and occasionally these can be life-threatening and need numerous doctors for a significant period of time – eg. managing a cardiac arrest, seizure, severe allergic reaction/anaphylaxis etc.

Due to confidentiality, a doctor cannot discuss another patient’s circumstances or medical condition which might have caused us to be late for your scheduled appointment.

Furthermore, often doctors might have to make or receive a telephone call between patients from a specialist, pharmacist, nursing home, receptionist or a patient might need to be contacted urgently.

The reason why a doctor is running behind also may not be clearly evident from the waiting room because something might be occurring behind the scenes or have happened earlier in the day.  Your patience and understanding with our reception staff, nurses and doctors during these times would be much appreciated.

There is a massive shortage of General Practitioners and pressure on the hospital system, which is consequently leading to increasing time pressures in our clinic as a flow-on effect.

 There are a few things patients can also do to help us to run on time:

  • Please try and plan your arrival at, or before, your scheduled appointment time.  We may have to ask you to re-book if you arrive after the starting time of your consultation, as it effectively ‘double books’ the next patient’s appointment.
  • If more than one person in your family needs medical care, please make an appointment for each person.  We allow for one appointment for one person.
  • Some people like to store up multiple medical problems and present with lists.  This obviously reduces the amount of time the doctor can spend on each problem due to time constraints and therefore can compromise the care the doctor is able to provide for each problem.  A good consultation requires a thorough history, examination, formulation of a probable diagnosis and a management plan.  This is then followed by a discussion of pros and cons of treatment, side effects of medication and/or potential costs of investigations or procedures.  Doing this for multiple medical problems on a list may rush this process, leading to an unfulfilling consultation and compromise quality care.