The Travel Doctor

October 21, 2008

Ok todays rant. The Travel Doctor, what can I say. Is it me or this place just one big Medicare con. I understand the need for good medical advice when necessary so please forgive me if this post offends in anyway. However the methods that I encountered during some recent visits/calls with the Fremantle branch of The Travel Doctor were simply astonishing.

As some of you know I am about to set off on a few months around India, Nepal, Borneo and wherever else my travels take me, thus Injections for various illnesses and problems are essential. The internet, Lonely Planet Publications and word of mouth mean that determining the correct injections really is not that hard, especially if you are aware of your previous jabs and when they took place.

I made an appointment to visit and turned up 15 minutes prior to my appointment as requested, I then explained to the receptionist that what jabs I wanted, I was then told that I HAD to see a Doctor as he was the only person that could prescribe the jabs that I required. Ok fair enough, that not how they do it in the UK but I have to respect the way it is done over here in Australia.

I then asked how much roughly the jabs would cost, I was then told it depended on the Doctor, WTF. I then asked again just in case I did not undertand what I was told correctly.

Anway I then had my consult with the GP who went through “briefly” what jabs/tablets I would require that are on prescription, no suprise that they were exactly the same as I had researched but hey thats life. During the consult I had a great feeling that I waw simply being SOLD TO. Gastro pack this, Insect repellant that, etc etc. Not a good feeling. I was after all in a Dr’s not a retail outlet.

The Nurse was awesome, the injections were handled quickly without pain or hassle, which was great as like most people I am not a huge fan of jabs. She told me as had the Dr that I would need to return in a month for the second stage of the Hep B, no problem.

I called up after the month (this week) to book my follow up appointment with the nurse simply to get the jab. I was then told by reception that I HAD to have a follow up Dr.’s appointment to “discuss” any extra things that I might need, once again up pops the gastro pack and insect repellant etc.

I mentioned that I did not really want to waste my time on this as I have everything required and what I dont have I will get through local outlets that are fare cheaper. I then was told dont worry we will bulk bill medicare of the second consult so there is no issue.

WFT. There is a huge issue with that as far as I am concerned, Medicare are being billed and unnecessary consult so that a Dr. can basically sell you stuff. Just to make sure I did ask once again what the second consult was for, was there any medical reason, was there an issue with my first injection perhaps. No it was simply to sell me these Add Ons.

Everyone is in the business of making money, this I have no issue with. Billing Medicare a consult so they can sell you more things is just outright robbery and dishonest.

Why not get the receptionist to offer these additional services perhaps. I am sure there will be people that are against what I am saying but Medicare and the economy in general should not be forced to absorb cost of this underhand method of making money.

Your thoughts