Doctor’s fees, a bitter pill to swallow, especially for the doctor

Tuesday, 14 February, 2017

Seventy dollars may be a lot to fork out for a relatively short consultation with a doctor, but even as someone who balks at the thought of such a cost, I wouldn’t consider my doctor to be making easy money. If fortunate, a doctor might end up with a little over a third of that money, as Sydney doctor Elizabeth Oliver explains:

If I had billed the building contractor the private fee of $70.00, $37.05 would be refunded directly into his bank account by Medicare. Of that $70.00, thirty-five per cent goes to the practice for rent, insurance, the receptionist and nurse, software, electricity and equipment. Of my $45.50 I would pay around 37% tax plus the Medicare levy (total $17.75), and 7% for my HECS-HELP debt ($3.19). So for eighteen minutes of my time I would take home $24.56. I bulk billed him, and therefore made $13.01 after tax. That dizzying sum has to cover sick leave, holiday and maternity leave, superannuation, and around $8,000 per year in registration fees, indemnity insurance and continuing professional development.

The entire article is well worth reading though. Many of us probably do not realise just how demanding the work of a doctor, especially one in a general practice, or a medical centre, is.

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