Finding a bulk billing doctor has become harder in recent years but there’s now a HealthEngine app will help connect you with no gap GP’s locally and book appointments.
HealthEngine is essentially a search engine for health services in Australia.
The directory lists pretty much all types of medical practitioners. They range from doctors and dentists to psychologists and optometrists around the country, including Queensland.
You can also narrow the search to service providers that bulk bill, saving you hours of scanning through Google searches.
According to Nine News, 48 per cent of the Queensland practices HealthEngine app lists bulk bill and other offer mixed billing.
“Often some practices only bulk bill or don’t have an out of pocket charge for say children or pensioners or those sort of groups,” Doctor Marcus Tan, HealthEngine’s CEO, told Nine News.
House Call Doctor is a bulk billing after hours service
House Call Doctor offers bulk billing after hours services to all its patients who hold a current Medicare card or Department of Veteran Affairs Card.
It means that from 6pm to 8am weekdays, from midday Saturday and all day Sunday a GP will come to your home and treat you and there’ll be no out-of-pocket costs.
Unlike some after hours GP services that can charge $400 after midnight, no matter what day or time you call, we never charge you for our services. You will be 100 per cent bulk billed with the right entitlement cards.
Bulk billing after the Federal budget
The end of the freeze on Medicare rebates means that more patients are likely to be bulk billed in Australia.
According to the Federal Health Department, 78.4 per cent of services have been bulk-billed in Queensland. This was during the 2016/17 financial year (from July 2017 to March 2017). That figure is on par with the nationwide average which is 78.1 per cent.
Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon told ABC News that lifting the freeze from the start of July will give patients peace of mind.
“This means that we will not see patients thinking twice before visiting doctors,” Mr Gannon said.
“The changes to the safety net are good for pregnant women and people with chronic mental health problems. They are also good for patients with cancer and those who will need a lot of visits in a short time.”
The Consumers Health Forum chief executive Leanne Wells said in a statement it would reduce
pressure on Australia’s high out-of-pocket health costs.
“This health budget is a commendable attempt to rebalance priorities while seeking to establish a platform that provides hope for a future more effective health system that is both responsive to consumer needs but also delivers best bang for the buck,” Ms Wells said.
HealthEngine app helping patients manage appointments online
HealthEngine executive director and co-founder Adam Yap told the Australian patients can pick a time that suits them for an appointment, without having to wait on the phone or be offered unsuitable options.
“We used to think people used it because they wanted to save time and could book
appointments after hours, but people say it’s because they can choose their own time,” Mr Yap said.
“There’s also a natural rate of change with GPs, people change GPs every six years or so.
“When people come out of school they look for a GP. Your family circumstances change. We have changed since we had kids, because we wanted someone who was good with children.”
He explained the health sector has to adapt to changing demands.
“Some practices are very transactional; people come in, they make sure they’re sorted out and they leave, but clearly this has to change,” he said.
“Technology will transform the health sector, it will transform every sector. The idea that health can live in a bubble and is separate to your life is changing.
“There’s this idea that I can book a hotel online, I can buy a car online, then why not organise your health?”