27 November 2006

The Australian Baby Journey 2

The First Doctor's visit
We try to arrange an appointment with the doctor at around 20 weeks. This means it is "too late" for most of the tests we don't want anyway.
Also, we use a GP (General Practitioner) as they don't do abortions. It takes a highly educated obstetrician to murder children.
Lana made the phone call and they recorded the information then. We arrived early for our appointment, but did not have to fill in any forms. They just asked us a couple of extra questions which were recorded directly onto their system. The doctor is part of a medical centre, but officially only uses one admin staff.
The doctor was only 10 minutes late and he called us into his consulting room. He was with us for the whole half hour and entered notes as we talked, entered the referral for the ultrasound and blood tests into his PC and printed the appropriate forms pre-filled with our information. (No translating doctor's writing!)
We then made an appointment for a fortnight (two weeks) later.
The cost? Nothing. Bulk Billed. Officially $97.00 ($73 US). Regular visits will be $47, with a refund of $34, Net $13 ($10 US).
No forms or paperwork.

The US cost? Every visit cost $75 US ($100 AUD) or $25 ($33 AUD) after insurance refund. Forms spanning several pages had to be completed, about a dozen various staff between us and the doctor, every appointment between 30 and 60 minutes late, the doctor spending at most 5 minutes in the room with us.

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