Most minor medical issues can be treated by a local doctor or General Practitioner (GP) who can prescribe medication. Usually you will only go straight to hospital if you have an emergency or major accident.
If you have a non-urgent injury or illness that needs to be treated, you may want to consider visiting a GP at a medical centre. In Australia, doctors can be either GPs or Specialist Physicians. To visit a Specialist Physician such as a Gastroenterologist, you must first visit a GP and obtain a referral.
When you see a doctor, there is a fee set by the government for consultations called the Medical Benefits Schedule or MBS fee for most medical services. If your doctor charges the MBS then your CBHS Corporate policy will pay the entire amount. If the doctor chooses to charge more than the MBS, then you will have to cover the difference known as an ‘out of pocket’ or ‘gap’ payment.
All public hospitals in Australia have a 24-hour emergency and casualty department where you can get help after hours and on the weekend. People waiting in emergency are assessed and treated based on the seriousness of their medical condition. The patients with the most urgent problems are seen and treated first. If you attend the emergency department with a less serious medical condition, you may need to wait a long time to be treated and you could have a large out of pocket expense.