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Kangaroo Korner

posted Apr 24, 2014, 11:21 AM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Apr 24, 2014, 11:58 AM ]

Hello and Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely ladies of our Church family, for whom the nurturing of all of our children has been such a blessing.

For this month's article in the series, I thought we'll look at health care and education.

As I have discussed Health Care in previous times outside this series, I'll just say by way of reminder that most of our routine appointments with your Primary Care doctor can be paid for through Medicare, provided the doctor 'bulk bills'.  If you don't have such a physician, there are numerous clinics and doctor 'group' offices (called 'Surgeries') that will see you, some of which are 'walk-in' and thus do not even require an appointment.  We even have a 24/7 emergency service that will send a doctor to your home if you have an emergency outside normal business hours! These doctors have full authority to call for an ambulance and admit you to the hospital. 

Visits to Specialists incur out-of-pocket expenses, including an Anaesthetist's fee if you have surgery in a private hospital.  Private hospital surgeries will also incur an insurance 'gap fee', which can be $250-500, depending on your insurance coverage.  If you use the public hospital system through a true emergency situation, costs are covered by the government, although you can allow the public system to tap into your private health insurance (if you have it) in order to help them recover some costs--and doing so will NOT affect your insurance rates!.  If you want to use the public system for Specialist's services or elective (non-life threatening) surgeries, you will likely incur a lengthy waiting period between several months and three years to be assisted, depending on the severity of the issue.  Here again, there will be no charges out of pocket, but you can still allow the hospital to recover some of its costs from your health insurance, as the hospital will pay the gap fee in order to bill the insurance for certain services--again, this has no effect on your insurance rates.  It is also common practice, as it is in the US, for people to use the Emergency Room for treatment in lieu of private physicians.  As you might expect, the wait times can be very lengthy, but sometimes it seems to be the best solution under certain circumstances. 

A personally unsatisfying aside:  After a procedure, the surgeon  does not come to talk to the family about the outcome, and even the 'team' members who come to see the patient later on don't necessarily divulge anything! Information is really not passed along until the follow-up appointment! 

Routine, monthly medication costs are tied to health insurance, Medicare and age.  Senior citizens and those on disability pensions receive very low cost prescriptions (currently $5.90) up to a total cost of approx. $400 -$ 800 a year (depending on whether you are an individual or a family), after which they become free for the remainder of that year.  This presumes the drugs in question are on the Gov't. subsidized list.

I've also touched on higher education briefly in the past, so for now I'll simply say that education for children through high school age is mandatory, whether you choose to use public or private schools--and here's my favorite part--they all have uniforms, including wide-brimmed hats for sun protection!  They have a long summer break, as we do in WNY, but ours here coincides with Christmas, as that is our summertime.  Children here also have 2-3 other school holidays breaks of 1-3 weeks each, and several long weekends for other holidays, as happens in the States.  And because Queensland is such a popular destination, even for other Aussies, Queensland's school holidays had to be shifted from those of the rest of the country to allow for all the tourists! 

(Interesting aside:  We have a private boys school a short walk from our home that looks like it came from a movie set in England--exquisite traditional, old-world looking buildings, massive expanses of green lawns, pool, sports courts, etc.)  Sadly, however, as on the US's Indian Reservations, much of Australia's indigenous population's schooling is sub-standard, but our newly elected government is working diligently on correcting that imbalance.

Have a wonderful life of joy and peace until we see each other again. Tune in next month for some info on Seniors, Fun Food and Faith.


Love and Prayers always from our home to yours, and, as always, please remember to pray for the world's children.         




"Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal."  Sir Thomas Moore