Ripped off by Medical Practise

Hi all

I went a medical practice next to my work. They charge $80 the consultation, which is not cheap but not yet extravagant.

I have to say that the doctor took all the time in the world. I noticed that we start talking about the reason I came only after 4 minutes and the physical examination started only after 10 min.

He didn't the necessary medical supplies and had to leave the room for like 2 minutes

I was surprised by the slowness of the doctor until I saw the bill, then I understood. I paid $180 for a "long consultation" (more than 20 minutes).

So I believe I have been scammed with a smile.

Also the consultation seems to start from the moment the doctor comes in the waiting room and until he brings you back there, and not just the time in consultation room.

What can I do?

Thanks

Comments

  • -1 vote

    Care to go into detail as to what kind of check up you had? Did you have to do tests?

    I haven't heard of GPs charging for "long" and "short" consultation times. And I gather that you aren't eligible for Medicare bulk billing?

    Can others clarify this? I don't always see a GP.

    But if it was a "scam". Should we name and shame the place?

    • +2 votes

      Long and short consults are different medicare item numbers. Ie you get different medicare rebates for each (more for a long consult and less for short).

  • -1 vote

    It was a check up on an injury I had one year ago. It was sore when I woke up and I wanted to have it checked. Said another way, nothing special. The physical examination maybe lasted 4 min over 27 minutes of consultation.

    • +1 vote

      If you haven't been to the GP for a while, they are supposed to follow up on other health issues and to some extent do a general health check. They can be held liable for NOT following up on an issue that they might see on your file etc even if its not an issue that you bring up/book the consult for.

      I am sure there are dodgy GPs out there but just putting the GP's perspective out there because it might not be a scam/rip off.

  • +2 votes

    Just find a GP who suits you better… I don't think it's fair to name the medical practice - if you want, go to one of the doctor review sites and review the individual GP.

    Some people complain if a GP isn't thorough enough, is all business and not friendly (ie doesn't engage in chitchat) or doesn't spend long with each patient.

    A good GP will be busy enough (at least in Perth) that they won't care about spending 5 minutes extra with a patient to be able to charge for a longer consult.

  •  

    I would write a letter of complaint to the Practice asking them to please explain the wasted time talking about crap and why they have not got a price schedule in a prominent place which clearly outlines the charges applicable for a short or long consultation. As for the time commencing from the time you get called from waiting room till time you leave, that is acceptable as the GP is with you and the time starts 'now' principle applies.

  • +2 votes

    Also, next time you will know better to get to the point immediately with the GP or other professional eg Solicitor and don't entertain their 'off topic' conversations.

  •  

    Thanks for the replis.

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough, the doctor really did everything to keep over the 20 minutes. Most of the time spent wasn't about my medical conditions.

    • +5 votes

      Just like a dentist who after doing your filling (which was why you were there in the first place) then quickly asks you/ tells you that you need a fluoride treatment, or even a teeth polishing treatment.. and while you are on the chair you nod your head, then they do the procedures and charge you $99 for each procedure. You walk out with a real pain afterwards. Never returned to them again and spoke with their practice manager about their scamming techniques, was told that each dentist does as they please to earn more money.

      •  

        Happened to me also - polishing hurt me like hell and that was before I even saw the bill.

        • +1 vote

          Yes, I know the feeling. I had a teeth clean by a dental hygienist and then the dentist came in for an 'inspection' which lasted about 2 minutes. I noticed on the bill that the 'inspection' cost nearly $90 on top of the clean. Bit rich, I thought.

      •  

        But OP clearly states "No other time was spent directly on my medical conditions"

        •  

          So was the GP talking for 20 minutes non stop and you were listening? Probably not. So best to cut the Doc short and say what the problem is and ask how to deal with it. If Doc persists with irrelevant comments than tell them to stop.

        •  

          That might be an option for next time but he feels like he was scammed this time, when he was unaware that he was being moved up into a much more expensive bracket. Doctors should really have to say that they are about to upgrade the consultation from a short one to a long one when there's so much money involved.

  • +1 vote

    I had a friend who went to the GP for a papsmear. The GP was having trouble doing it and caused a fair bit of pain and ended up taking longer to do it. She ended up having to pay for a long consult!

    • +2 votes

      Maybe your friend's anatomy was different. It is their time after all, complications do happen.

      • +1 vote

        And maybe the doctor was incompetent? we'll never know.

  • +3 votes

    Was it a work injury by any chance? It's a different fee schedule.

  • +3 votes

    They take the micky. I went to a pain specialist after suffering for 2 years and trying all sorts of medicine with my doctor. It was $400 for 1 hour. After me chatting most of the time, she prescribed a couple of medicines. I spoke to my doctor after and he'd already dismissed the medicines as pointless. I took them anyway and they did nothing other than make me tired and nearly lose my job. The bill came and I refused to pay other than the medicare portion and wrote a lengthy complaint. It's been nearly a year and I've heard nothing.

    I would suggest writing a formal complaint.

    • +4 votes

      Is your credit report okay? Most doctors have practice managers with the tenacity of bloodhounds.

  • +3 votes

    You can lodge a complaint with the NSW medical board:

    http://www.mcnsw.org.au/page/old-policies/complaints-against...

    Other states would have their own equivalent.

  • +4 votes

    choose a doctor that bulk bills

  • +7 votes

    Yes doctors and dentists have turned into salespeople - I agree.

    I went to the doctor recently for a prescription for a product I believe should be sold over the counter (hair growth product). Anyway after the 30 seconds it took to write out the prescription repeat the doctor asks me if there is anything else I want to discuss since I am there anyway - I mention a knee locking cartilage issue I have had since I was 15 years old as my only other "medical" issue - he gives me some general advice (which I have heard before many times as this is an issue I have had for 20 years) - anyway when I see the bill I am charged a higher consult fee due to "mulitple ailments" - I asked why and the reception girl said "you must have discussed several medical issues" - I mean seriously …. ???

    OP I know your pain, everyone deserves to earn a living in this country - but I also felt I had been ripped off by a smiling assasin.

    • +3 votes

      There are always unscrupulous practitioners. They have always been around and will always be around. Nothing has changed, merely your own realization.

      edit - unscrupulous people are not limited to medicos and medicos are by far not the most unscrupulous.

    •  

      I don't think that's necessarily unscrupulous, it's standard practice - at my GP it is anyway…

    •  

      That's pretty poor form. I wouldn't expect a long consult unless it was over 20 minutes or three issues.

  • +14 votes

    You're not going to get your money back without kicking up a really big fuss, ie. threatening/taking legal action. The boat sailed when you paid the bill on the same visit. If you had concerns regarding the bill, you have to bring it up there and then, and a written complain should have been done. I write this being impartial, as I do not know the doctor was just fluffing around or if your time keeping is accurate as you say. However, you're not going to get your money back because

    1) Practically, the doctor didn't spend 20 minutes in the room with you, but technically he did as he clocked on the computer.

    2) He has written records, I am presuming you do not although I may be wrong.

    Although on face value it may seem that your doctor is wasting time, he may actually be working. If you presented to the clinic looking anxious, they calm you down so they can take a more accurate heart rate and breathing rate. All this is done without your knowledge. Patients presenting with concerns of pain are also possible drug-seekers and as such, he would have definitely observed your behaviour. He may have also left the room to monitor you remotely, ie check if you took the chance to forage for meds while he stepped out.

    These are both sides of my 2 cents.

  • -3 votes

    Not quite sure why doctors enjoy such a high standing in the community. Sure they do important work, but they are rewarded handsomely for it. Many specialists charge way too much, mainly because they can get away with it. In Qld lately there have been publicised cases of specialists rorting the taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

    • +1 vote

      the reason they charge so much, like lawyers, is partly to compensate them for ~10years of full time education and a HECS bill closing in on $100k

      • +9 votes

        You don't get to be on HECS for 10 years. The actual cost of becoming a specialist is about a million dollars after factoring lost income and equipment. At the end of the 10 years of study, you're left with a big debt. In contrast, someone with no tertiary education but with strict budget control and good investment sense may make as much money without the need to make the huge commitment and sacrifice that specialists medicos have to go through.

        Sure, specialists make more money than the average person over a lifetime, but they spend most of their time <40 years of age studying and depriving themselves of virtually everything.

        "Not quite sure why doctors enjoy such a high standing in the community."

        The failure to recognize their achievement and/or their contribution to society is simply unfair. Instead of being frustrated at doctors, your disdain should be redirected to the government. Their inability to regulate Medicare is the reason why there are doctors fees to begin with.

        •  

          You can contribute any accredited course to HECS at any time, there is no time limit. You pay back a portion each year (provided you earnt more than $52k) with your tax return, a portion which is a percentage of your taxable income.

        •  

          I'm pretty sure they put limits on HECS a few years go in order to stop professional students from going from one degree to another without actualy joining the real world.

          But then maybe not. An associate is 27, on her third degree and never had a job in her life (not even in high school).

        • -1 vote

          Sure, any accredited course can go to HECS.
          I think you guys have missed that HECS is only for university, eg. 5-6 years for a medicine undergrad course, or 3-4 years undergrad + 4 years medicine postgrad course. That's several years that goes on to HECS.

          However, actual studying continues for another (minimum) 5 years at hospital, in which graduates learn more as interns, registrars, residents etc. Depending on their specialty, they may be adding up to another 6 or so years on top of their hospital training.

          Consider that an undergrad student starts when they're 18 years old. They potentially will leave uni at age 24, and then finally finish their specialisation at hospital around the age of 30. At this point, they can leave hospital and start their own practice, join another medical institution etc. It's a long commitment.

          Note several things;
          - they do get paid when studying/training at hospital
          - you have EXAMS when you are studying your specialisation, no guarantee to get in
          - medicine is considered a degree of 'lifetime' learning, due to the many grey areas in medicine, and the new information that constantly comes out and the need to update
          - Going into medicines is a lifetime commitment to learning and studying, which isn't the case for every career
          - you HAVE to go to a public hospital for your training after leaving university. Most other undergraduates are 'free' to go find their own pathways after graduating from university

        •  

          what exactly are you arguing here?

        • -1 vote

          not arguing anything, just thought I'd put up some thought/points.

          tl,dr; HECS is unlikely to be 10 years, but learning and education is certainly greater than 10 years, probably lifelong/career-long

        •  

          there is no limit to HECS. As mentioned above if the course is government approved then you can add it to the program.

      • +1 vote

        Well said mate. After spending as much as they do at Uni (fees + time they can't work) not many doctors get paid as much as plumbers/electricians/brickies etc. Each to their own, but I think doctors deserve it.

        Disclaimer: My father is a GP; and I know how hard he works for 14+ hours a day while I laze around… Sure he gets paid more than me, but after the ATO takes their cut, I don't really think it's worth it.

        •  

          I'm sure your father does work very hard, but working 14+ hours a day is a choice if you are an employed GP in someone's practice. If it is your own practice then you have made the decision to be both a GP and a small business owner.

          Everyone who does not work as a GP is not necessarily sitting around rubbing their balls constantly like some perverted monkey (looking at you parislene). We also work long hours, but we don't have the luxury of a taxpayer subsidy for every bill we write.

          I think that in a reasonable society all these things should come at a reasonable cost; health care, access to the legal system, housing, water, electricity, transportation, rates, education, tradespeople. Most of those things used to be true, but are no longer for the majority of people.

    • +2 votes

      "Not quite sure why doctors enjoy such a high standing in the community."

      If you or a relative or someone you care about a lot is seriously ill, and are relying on doctors to save a life and/or improve quality of life, you'll realise how little you know about medical matters and how much respect doctors deserve.

      Of course there are going to be bad doctors and unscrupulous doctors, that is inevitable. I take issue at targeting the whole profession.

  • +3 votes

    Easily sorted.

    Write a letter to the practice admin manager and request a reasonable fee for the consult ($70 max for a long consult). This works 9/10 times. If you have no luck, reply again and this time advise that you will take the matter up with the state office for consumer and business affairs, regarding unfair price gouging practices. Also mention that you will be lodging a complaint with the Australian Medical Association and a state oversight body such as the http://www.mcnsw.org.au/page/old-policies/complaints-against....

    It's a basic right to have these consult prices advertised up front, and you should also have been notified prior to going in that it was going to be a long consult. Medicare also take complaints and investigate GP's, as these sorts of issues are often red-flags for possible medicare rorting.

    Good luck with getting a fair amount of money back.

    •  

      Unfortunately, once payment is made, you cannot argue that you weren't informed of the prices, regardless of whether you were advised or not. It will be the patient's word versus the practice's word. The practice has the upper hand of written and dated notes and without your own personal notes (and don't perjure yourself for $100. Perjury is a jailable offence), you will not have a leg to stand on should you pursue legal action/complain regarding the pricing.

      Medical practitioners can charge however much they want. There is no price guide that they have to follow nor does the AMA entertain any discussion to control the prices.

      It is an unfortunate circumstance, but I would cut my losses and change doctors if I felt I was cheated.

      • +3 votes

        Perjury is a jailable offenc, but in reality the thousands of people who perjure themselves in court around Australia every week and none get taken to task for it. You really have to piss someone off big time to have a perjury charge laid on you.

    •  

      I agree with the concept of writing to the practice. I had a problem with the way a doctor billed me last year. I wrote to him and he posted me a full refund. Too easy.

  •  

    Have you asked for an itemised bill?

  •  

    Most practices display their fees in the waiting room or on some sort of practice information leaflet. As you feel unjustifiably charged, a polite discussion with the practice management is worthwhile. General practice is a competitive business and nobody wants to lose "customers" (patients).

  • +2 votes

    time to look for a GP that bulk bills.

  • -3 votes

    Doctors are a law unto themselves, have had them aske me to sign the medicare slip before they even speak, guess that is just in case I refuse after the consultation. Would be changing doctors

  •  

    I do have the same experience after seeing a GP and was charged a long consultation fees. I went to thatG P first time and his clinic was closed by. I felt a bit strange as the whole clinic was empty. However I did not bother as I was just asking for a prescription.. It was that GP who gabed all the times about how once he was working with one of the government hospital , and later talked excessively and unnecessarily over my hypertension . In fact I came to him just for my hepentension prescription . Instead he took the chance gabbing over and over and threatened me if I did not do this and that. What he advised me was all I knew already as I have on medication for almost 30 years. I could not stop his gabbing out of politeness. After a long time at last he let me go. Outside his reception girl asked me to sign a form , and I enquired what for. She explained that was for a long consultation fees of $180.00 and she repeatedly assured me just signed as I did not have to pay for it (bulk billing). OMG. In fact the GP should have to pay me for being a good listener . He was wasting my time. Thereafter I never turn up to him.

  • +1 vote

    Time to look for a new GP. Get your files sent to the new GP, that makes it clear you're not returning.

  •  

    Sounds like a combination of a dodgy GP/receptionist and practice in general.
    The GP (for unimaginable reasons) has clearly wasted your time – generally, doctors can’t get you out of the door fast enough to try and keep to their schedule/be fair to other patients.
    The receptionist is the person that decides whether to charge for a long consultation or a short consultation (unless specifically directed by the physician, which GP’s generally don’t have the time for)
    The charges for a long consultation should never be more than 1.75 times the charges for a standard consultation, let alone more than double.

    Did you talk to anyone at the practice, and make sure there wasn’t just an honest mistake?

  • +6 votes

    Financially, GPs are better off seeing more patients using the "short consult" option, rather than seeing fewer patients using the "long consult" option. So I suspect your GP is either a little slower in doing his/her work, or being very thorough. It is unlikely that he/she is doing it for financial reasons.

    In medicine, the history is the most important part, followed by the examination and then investigations. The history gives you 90% of what you need to know, the rest often just supports or rejects your findings on history. So I would in fact be supportive of a doctor who spends the time to work out a proper history, rather than one who rushes to the examination or investigations.

    • +3 votes

      That's only assuming there is a long queue of "short consult" after OP's consultation. If there are not alot of other patients in the waiting room, I wouldn't be surprised if the GP stretches all the sessions to make them all "long consults" to make the extra cash.

      •  

        There are good GPs and bad GPs just like there are good plumbers and bad plumbers or electricians or anyone for that matter.

        The patient needs to find themselves a good GP who they trust and works well with. The bad GPs don't necessarily have no patients - in fact probably the opposite. They will probably attract patients who just want sick notes or quick fixes or drugs, and there is no shortage of that demographic.

        Likewise, a good GP may not have a waiting room full of patients. He or she might practise thorough medicine and therefore take longer, and maybe that doesn't appeal to a lot of people.

        Like anything else, if you don't like the value of the product or service you are getting then you need to go elsewhere, find a supplier you like and trust, and stick with them. Just because Medicare pays for part or all of the consultation doesn't make it a "free" service.

        •  

          Agreed with what you said - that if you are not happy with your GP, find another one.

          I would think that most people would prefer what you referred as "bad GPs" - get it over and done with, no BS, myself included. Get your prescription/doctor's certificate and leave.

          IMO nowadays, people don't need general advice or to go through your medical history with a GP. Just google it. Last time when I saw a GP, there were a few questions that he wasn't able to answer, and he just googled it on the spot. This gives the impression that general advice from GP is just plain BS and a waste of time.

          PS I hate how GPs nowadays just face the computer and type during most of the consultation. No eye contact whatsoever while you're speaking, so disrespectful!

    •  

      This +100000.

      The alternative is the other type of GP which barely asks any questions, performs a rudimentary exam/no exam at all and then prescribes you a random pain killer/antibiotic. Probably bulked billed as well.

      There's one like this I know of - he sees 70 patients/day by 2pm and then goes home - works 3 days a week to not go over the Medicare Cap for over servicing. He's doing neither you or the health systems any favours.

      You can't blame the GPs for not bulk billing - Medicare simply hasn't kept up.

      Besides a 20 minute call out for an electrician to change a fuse etc may be $100-200.

      Yet when it comes to your health you're not willing to pay?

  • +2 votes

    the AMA recommends around $70 for a standard consultation <20mins, and around $130 for a "long" consultation between 20-40 mins. that helps when negotiating any fees with drs

    • +1 vote

      The keyword here being "recommend".

  •  

    Some trades charge you for time they spend returning to their home for forgetting their tools.

    • +2 votes

      I was being charged $45 per hour for the tradies lunch break. I challenged their boss and said that I am not shouting the tradies lunch at the Sheraton Hotel. Boss complied and removed all lunch break charges.

  • +1 vote

    I have had a similar issue!

    Went to see a Dr for the first time, and he couldn't log in to his computer. Took him 20mins.

    We spoke for 10 or 15 mins, and I was sent away. I was charged an extra $100 for a long consult. When the actual consult was of normal length!

    Too shock to know what to do at the time I just paid it and never went back to him.

    But yeah. I know what you mean.

  • +1 vote

    That Audi isn't going to pay itself.

  • +3 votes

    consider yourself lucky, I brought my sister with an eye-ache from shuttlecock to GP. Waited an hour, went in for 5s, literally. He said "Cannot help, go ask optometrist." NO REFERRAL, NO Nothing. Handed a bill $55 bucks.

    According to my doctor friends, that $55 bucks is for a professional to tell you that you should see an optometrist…

    Why didnt I study hard…right?

    • +2 votes

      Consider yourself lucky. I had an operation, and the ortho surgeon specifically (unbeknown to me) scheduled my follow up appointment just outside of the "free consult" period after an operation. When I stated I was in increased pain, his reply was "see a physio". No examination, no follow up questions, nothing. I asked "do you recommend any specific physios, or are there any things i should tell the physio or exercises to suggest?". His reply: "no, any physio will know what do to". I was in and out in 5 minutes (after waiting for 45 min - and the surgeon wasn't running late, I was his first apt at 8am (and he didn't have surgery prior), he just turned up late) and was charged over $200 for the privilege.

      I was quite young and didn't know what to do so just paid, but if I had my time again I would have disputed it. There are ALWAYS going to be bad and unscrupulous doctors out there - although the extent is mitigated by organisations like the medical board and various legislation, I still think it's important to get recommendations and find a practitioner who you believe in and trust.

    • +1 vote

      If your dishwasher is broken and you call your electrician, and they come and say "actually it's the plumbing that's the problem, the electrics are fine, call your plumber", do you think they will charge you for the callout?

      Why shouldn't it be the case for professionals like GPs?

      •  

        You are right. That's why I asked why didnt I study hard like you…at last.

  • +6 votes

    Hi Isidore,
    Sorry to hear that you were upset by this but most people these days complain about how doctors don't spend enough time actually listening to patients. Many GP practice are set up so all appointments are 'long consults' to avoid complaints about being too quick and dismissive.
    As part of medical training doctors are encouraged to talk to patients about every day topics because it often brings up issues that patients feel too embarrassed to bring up by themselves. The reason why s/he was spending that extra time with you was to try and build rapport so you felt comfortable enough to bring up topics that you otherwise wouldn't have.
    I agree that it would have been better if there was a notice at the front desk explaining typical costs for consults so you had an idea of what it would be before you went in however.

    Just a note about the 'difficult pap smear' that ended up costing more that someone posted: It's easy to blame the doctor for taking longer but also remember that you present to the doctor with your issue and the doctor is trying to help you through that issue the best they can. I've faced this issue a few times in my practice too. Being a junior health professional I used to take 'responsibility' for everything that went wrong and I felt terrible for a week or more after anything didn't go to plan but talking to seniors at my practice gave me a bit of perspective - Imagine an elderly woman with cancer and her daughter come to you (the doctor) and after a year of consultations and procedures (that they've been paying for) the mother ends up passing away. Would it be fair for the daughter to ask for all her expenses back? The doctor did not give the elderly woman cancer, they tried to do their best with the situation they were confronted with and sometimes their best isn't enough… When you visit the doctor and end up paying more than your friend who had the same treatment done because your anatomy was different - just remember that the doctor isn't responsible for what you presented with in the first place. With healthcare we aim to treat people individually. People aren't machines and don't present in the same way. I would doubt that people would prefer doctors treating everyone the same and not consider peoples individual situations on a case by case basis.

    •  

      ..but also remember that you present to the doctor with your issue and the doctor is trying to help you through that issue the best they can..

      ..The doctor did not give the elderly woman cancer, they tried to do their best with the situation they were confronted..

      What if other professionals use the same line arguments?
      Your roof repairer only tried to repair your roof. He didn't break your roof in the first place. He was merely assisting you as best he could.

      Your roof repairer only tried to repair your roof. He didn't break your roof in the first place. He was merely assisting you as best he could.

      • +1 vote

        Because they guarantee their work and will also go out of their way to mention how much liability they are insured for.

        With healthcare there's many areas that are far from being a perfect science. That is why there's usually a lengthy consent process before most people are willing to touch a patient.

        There is also something called financial consent and you do have a right to know the costs upfront however there is no strict laws on this (as far as I know). Usually clinics will have their own internal policies about informing patients if treatment is above $XX. If you do complain to the practice and their internal policies mandate their GPs to inform patients prior for an amount that you paid then you might get a refund. But from my experience it is approx $200 for most practices. If you do make a fuss about it clinics may refund you but will refuse to see you as a patient (which they have the right to do).

        On a slightly separate note to those encouraging complaints - in the long run it is counter-productive. I remember a patient of mine while working in country victoria that needed to be treated under general anesthetic but due to a complicated (but not that bad..) medical history, there was no anesthetist in town that was willing to put him under. Because people have become more litigious, doctors are more inclined to avoid seeing patients in the first place. Many of you may have heard of 'duty of care' - but one main clause in that is that the doctor first needs to accept responsibility for your care. If they refuse to begin with, then he is not liable for anything. So in the example from above - the patient would only be seen once he deteriorated to the point of an emergency and the anesthetist would have no choice but to assume duty of care (and in which case claims of damages are less likely). The other counter-productive outcome is that to avoid the 1:100000 chance of getting the wrong diagnosis doctors are ordering way too many unnecessary and expensive tests. You will end up paying more for your medical bills because before anyone touches you, they'll get you to have 100s of tests to rule out these extremely rare conditions. And again, if you choose not to spend money on these 'useless' tests, the doctor has no obligation to assume duty of care and you go untreated… until it deteriorates to an emergency.

        • +1 vote

          Because they guarantee their work and will also go out of their way to mention how much liability they are insured for.

          Don't doctors guarantee the quality of their work (not the outcome)?

          A tradesman can scam customers insisting that he had to inspect the roof before fixing one broken tile because something else in the roof/roof cavity could potentially warrant a different course of action to repair the broken tile. Or, if the trades person was not very skilled, he would have spent a long time reaching and fixing the broken tile. Most of them then bill the customer for the whole time and justify saying things like "every roof is different, every crack is different…", which would be unscrupulous. If a doctor does the same, why would s/he not be unscrupulous?

          On a slightly separate note to those encouraging complaints - in the long run it is counter-productive….

          Again, why is this any different to other professionals? When clients sue trades persons, insurance premiums will go up which will be passed back on to clients. In addition, tradesmen will do more and more complex, unnecessary, and expensive tests and fixes (rather than trusting their good old gut-feeling) to guard against 1 in a million lawsuit. So it is counter productive in the long run?

          The bottom line: healthcare professionals provide a service for a fee like any other professional.

        • +1 vote

          Misdiagnosis rate more like 10-20%, in the US at least, see http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=23148

  •  

    I would just ring up the medical registration board, known as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. http://www.ahpra.gov.au/

    there is even a form you can fill in by the looks of it.

    anyway, they will let you know, if you have been taken advantage off. If so they will probably send a warning to the clinic, or even audit the, and check on how many long consultations they have been billing, and follow up with those patients too.

    more people need to complain about these practices, as they are just wroughting medicare

    •  

      That's unlikely. Medicare are more likely to be concerned about doctors having too many short consults, as this is more financially beneficial for the doctor.

      You also don't need to complain if your only complaint is that the doc is "wroughting medicare", as Medicare rebates are all centrally databased so they can check with the click of a button how many consults a doctor has, compare doctors against averages etc and they regularly audit doctors who are above average.

  •  

    Sounds like you were scammed! Like the doc didnt have many appointments that day. Maybe the practice manager is riding him. Who knows?

  • -1 vote

    I honestly feel that business and ethics are opposing forces that cannot be tamed. I'm just saying there will always be this problem.

  •  

    Sounds like the general public have something against doctors?

  •  

    We have websites rating everything these days, hotels, retaurants etc.

    Why no doctor rating sites?

    • +1 vote

      defamation.

    • +2 votes

      There are sites. My GP is on http://www.ratemds.com/doctor-ratings/ for example.

      • +1 vote

        Looks like a good site, thanks…

      •  

        http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/latest-news/doctors-...

        I wonder how this is all going to pan out…the doctors certainly don't have control over what goes on those sort of websites

        • +2 votes

          Those rating websites are useful if used in good faith, but I am always suspicious of rave reviews and savage criticisms as people can anonymously character assassinate or falsely praise without being accountable.

        •  

          People CAN,do that if they want (WE CAN,AND DO FIND THESE PEOPLE and make them very accountable.Thank God for IP addresses and total access to info for legal proceedings,YAY)…then we health professionals take you to court for a little thing called DEFAMATION (and trust me,i know a few Dr's who have done so and won for a lot less than spreading BS online.)

  •  

    post a sign (while wearing a hoodie) outside the office saying "Closed due to rats and infestation"

    Make them suffer and loose 10000s in lost clients.