If you have FA, make sure your GP has you on an EPC or Enhanced Primary Care Plan. There are three important things you’ll get from this:
- Once, maybe even twice per year, they’ll have you go through a pretty comprehensive review with a practice nurse which’ll cover dietary and lifestyle stuff, how much and what you eat and drink, how much and what exercise you take, what you currently do, and what you could/should be doing to minimise your risk from preventable issues that affect many in the population but would be an even bigger issue as you’ve got FA to start with. Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol etc.
- Probably as part of the same visit, you’ll also have a brief consultation with your GP so they can review what’s been noted about you, and they’ll also review any medication you’re currently taking to be sure you’re taking the right stuff and in the right quantities.
Both 1 and 2 above should be fully bulk-billed. If your GP has your Medicare number on file there shouldn’t be any out of pocket cost at all.
- Also as part of the EPC plan, you’re entitled to five appointments per year with other allied health professionals: chiropractic, physio, dietician etc. I’ve always found that if I know what discipline I’d like, and if who I usually go to is in the database, my GP is happy to allocate the appointments per my specific requests.
Personally, I use these appointments as annual or six-monthly reviews to understand how I’m going and establish a programme I can follow on my own until the next review.
Sometimes an allied health professional will charge more than the bulk-billed amount and in that case, you’ll have a gap to pay, but it’s still five times better than paying full whack!