emo Why no walk-in pathology clinics in Australia?

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6 years 4 months ago #10875

One thing I was wondering was why aren’t there any walk-in pathology clinics in Australia? Why do we need to see a doctor first and then get a test? Surely there would be enough demand from people who want to check up on their numbers while undergoing all sorts of treatment.

In other countries it seems quite possible. For example, here is are two clinics in London where it seems you can just walk in and get a test as you wish:

Clinic 1

Clinic 2

I haven’t actually been to these places, and their range of tests his not huge, but there they are, and it seems you can just call up, walk in, pay, and get tested.

And here is part of a translated price list for a Moscow company a branch of which I have visited. There are about 150 branches of this franchise in the city alone and you just walk in and get the tests you want. Of course, if you need an MRI or a liver elastogram, you might need to make an appointment, but you certainly don’t need to talk to a doctor (divide by 50 to get price in Australian dollars):

Clinic pricelist

So my question is, why are Britain and Eastern Europe so far ahead of Australia in providing such basic service? I thought Australia was a progressive country, but it seems we are not allowed easy information of our own bodies. Maybe there is a good reason.

Or am I wrong, and I can walk to a clinic in Circular Quay, pay $100, and get an elastogram/fibrotest on the spot?

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6 years 4 months ago #10879

Yes, I know someone who went to a free testing service in London. They were going to get monitored by them, but in the end, the waiting times for appointments were prohibitative.

You can of course pay for anything you like, there are rules about a Dr request for these, but most testing services have got around this one way or another. The one I onced used, Blue Horizon, my blood test results were held up for nearly a week because a Dr hadn't looked at them yet. So I suspect these rules do apply here too, they just get around them via a private GP moonlighting & offering their services. VL testing is very expensive here, around the £200 mark, so these tests can really add up. A fibroscan is £350+ - So again, if you have the dosh, you can have the tests, I guess.


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC
Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by LondonGirl.

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6 years 4 months ago #10880

Interesting facts, thanks.

LondonGirl wrote:

Yes, I know someone who went to a free testing service in London. They were going to get monitored by them, but in the end, the waiting times for appointments were prohibitative.
Yep, I can imagine that free services might be a bit slow.
You can of course pay for anything you like, there are rules about a Dr request for these, but most testing services have got around this one way or another. The one I onced used, Blue Horizon, my blood test results were held up for nearly a week because a Dr hadn't looked at them yet.
That's the thing I was wondering about – why are doctors necessary for asking for tests anywhere? Is it that they are worried about patients freaking out if they test themselves? I can't think of any other reason.
So I suspect these rules do apply here too, they just get around them via a private GP moonlighting & offering their services. VL testing is very expensive here, around the £200 mark, so these tests can really add up. A fibroscan is £350+ - So again, if you have the dosh, you can have the tests, I guess.
Those prices are high, but I guess that must be London for anything and cheaper outside of the big cities. But the number you quoted for a fibroscan is simply absurd. I can imagine them getting away charging that for an insurance company, but for a private paying individual, that is quite a surprise.

Are there any doctorless walk-in labs in Australia?

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6 years 4 months ago #10884

This is the national price for a fibroscan, I haven't heard of anyone getting one cheaper than £350, please feel free to let us know anyone who has. Sometimes, things in London are actually cheaper, because there is more choice.


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC

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6 years 4 months ago #10888

Wow LG thats three times the price of private fibroscan here! Heppers are really doing it hard over there these days.
We get a great deal here as far as blood tests go, with Medicare paying for most of them, though sadly that could well be about to change.
I would also be very interested to know if it was possible to bypass a doctor to get tests here in Australia (I don't think it is and I guess partly thats due to having to monitor the subsidising of tests).
Also looking for a way to access my own records of past tests. I am continually frustrated by my GPs reluctance to give me copies of my own results. The medical fraternity are a bit like the mafia I sometimes think, always looking to protect their interests. Must be especially hard for them in the internet age when everyones a google expert. And lets face it, most people are not capable of managing their own health care.
Presumably Australians could use international online testing services but thats obviously going to be expensive.


F49HepC25ysGT1a
"mild"
Harvoni 12 wks
Brisbane, Australia

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6 years 4 months ago #10889

The medical fraternity are a bit like the mafia I sometimes

Yes, it does seem that way at times FFox :-D

Re getting past test results, I agree, some Drs / Consultants seem very reluctant, rather frustratingly as it is our own blood they're testing!

I have found the best way to get these is to ask the receptionist to print them out while you are face to face at the surgery / hospital They usually seem obliging. Have had a 'fight' in the past too, thankfully only the one. I was told, in the UK at least, it is our 'right' to request and receive them, so I persisted and got there in the end.


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC

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6 years 4 months ago #10891

That's the thing I was wondering about – why are doctors necessary for asking for tests anywhere? Is it that they are worried about patients freaking out if they test themselves? I can't think of any other reason.

I think that is a very good question BB and one that has always bugged the hell out of me.
The medical fraternity are a bit like the mafia I sometimes think, always looking to protect their interests.

I agree FF. The UK is littered with professional institutions all claiming that they must insert themselves between us and the information we want, all for our own good. Geez, haven't we moved on from when catholic priests were required to translate the word of god from Latin into something the peasants could understand? That was nice little earner for them until the bible was translated into English.

Now, however, the internet has gone a long way to breaking this 'jobs for the boys' jolly. There are services which will do blood tests without a doctor in the middle if you can pay. Just to be clear, I am not for total DIY doctoring. I think that specialist medical services are essential in some cases. But it just gets my goat to pay a consultant just for signing off on some initial tests and then maybe sitting on the results for which I have the extra step of hounding him to get the results.

dt

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6 years 4 months ago #10892

but it just gets my goat to pay a consultant just for signing off on some initial tests and then maybe sitting on the results for which I have the extra step of hounding him to get the results.

I hear you DT, It's like my old consultant who is no doubt being paid well to sit there and spend my whole consultation telling me why I can't be treated when a phone call or an email would have saved me the bother of traveling and more importantly, the NHS some money for his time doing absolutely nothing except looking superior, being condescending & actual telling a lie for 20 mins . The 'jobs for the boys' jolly' is still alive and kicking , but thankfully, not everywhere. If it's one thing I've learned throughout all of this, is you have to try and hunt out the good Drs, they do exist :-)


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC
Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by LondonGirl.
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6 years 4 months ago #10893

Further to my last post, the blood services for which you don't need to get a doctor tend to employ their own doctors. All the results are looked at by a doctor and an interpretation is included in the service. You are warned in advance that should anything abnormal show up in your tests then you may be strongly recommended to go to your own doctor and follow up on it. Some services include a free consultation with their doctor on your results if you request it.

So there is nothing irresponsible going on here. Except for the scaremongering put out by certain bodies with interests in keeping us dependent on them and in the dark. When the first English language bibles were produced, it became a crime in the UK to own one, punishable by burning at the stake as a heretic. So, people in high places were serious about protecting their interests. Now here we are 500 years later but human nature has not changed.

dt

Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by dointime.

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6 years 4 months ago #10894

the blood services for which you don't need to get a doctor tend to employ their own doctors. All the results are looked at by a doctor and an interpretation is included in the service.

Yes, think mine was, but don't know if he was free. Either way, he wasn't available for whatever reason, for another 6/7 days of them being ready and available, they kept telling me 'you've had a really fast turn-around' but wouldn't give me the results! it was nearing a non-working weekend which would have made it a 10 day delay, twice the length of NHS ! I had to really push to get them, even though I had paid for them. I pointed out, that if these were going to be sent to me digitally, then surely they could send them to me and the Dr digitally (Doh) - I think I was irritated as I could tell they were using delaying tactics to get into the weekend where they could suddenly announce 'sorry it's not a working day' .

Ah well, GP is now brill thankfully and if I want the odd test that he doesn't cover, I'll look for another option. As my LFTs are all currently within range, maybe I wont cause such a delay next time. I am wondering if the Drs actually get notified unless there are some bloods out of range. Hey ho, we live and learn ;-)


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC
Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by LondonGirl.

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6 years 4 months ago #10900

Either way, he wasn't available for whatever reason, for another 6/7 days of them being ready and available,

LG - I wouldn't be happy with that - at all!
If there is a next time for you, maybe find another service. They usually state the turn-around time for each test so that you know what to expect. If they don't deliver then complain and walk. Well, here's me trying to tell my granny how to suck eggs :lol: . (Reference to your age not intended, only to your experience in such matters.)

dt

Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by dointime.

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6 years 4 months ago #10901

If there is a next time for you, maybe find another service.
No kidding DT :lol:


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC

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6 years 4 months ago #10902

I've got more to say about medical results coming in late.

Back when I was doing interferon tx I asked the NHS for more frequent PCRs and was refused. Consequently I turned to the few private services there were at the time to get an additional PCR done. I waited ...and waited ... and waited. I enquired. I enquired all the way up to the CEO of the company. Eventually I got a refund on the test when they admitted that their turnaround was not acceptable. Their excuse - they had been batching the PCR tests and they hadn't got enough for a test run to be profitable.

So 4 weeks after the original test I turned to another company and got my result, only to be horrified that I had had a viral breakthrough. So because of that the tx was stopped, but I had had to endure 4 weeks more of interferon than necessary because the original test was late. I can imagine other circumstances where a 4 week delay might be fatal. Plus, if the NHS had had their way with saving the money on the PCR I'd have had many more months of futile interferon tx, unaware of the breakthrough.

So it's no joke when medical tests come in late, or are not done at all when you have good reason to believe that they are necessary. Decisions are made on the results of these tests which can profoundly affect the health of the patient. It's not like your car has to stay another day in the garage because a spare part wasn't delivered, or your order from Amazon didn't make the estimated date on your order confirmation. It is not just an another administrative nuisance - but so often it is treated as no more serious than that.

Don't stand for it!
dt

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6 years 4 months ago #10904

DT I am so VERY sorry to read what happened to you - :ohmy: To have to endure 4 weeks more of unnecessary Interferon 'therapy' because of it, pure :evil: That must have taken some getting over. When I am better, I shall be typing up my big blue book and giving it to the HepatitisC Trust for their patient experience thing. Not sure where else to send it right now and now is not the time. I do truly believe we HepC patients suffer more than patients with other conditions for one reason or another.

This explains exactly why we need to take many matters into our own hands with many things and 'keep our eyes on the ball' - I mean, who else will?

Seeing as we're moaning today ;) My other gripe is with administrative errors re blood test results. Consultants often dictate their letters into a dictation machine for secretaries to type up, I have had so many errors regarding this, including blood tests. Once Alt21 (really 71) and such the like. anyway, it wasn't irrelevant anyway, as they sent the results to a complete stranger across the other side of the country, so my GP never received them. I guess admin are very under stress in the NHS currently, but still, with blood results, maybe they should double check? This is anther reason to have access to the results sheet, then we can copy and give to our consultants / GPs etc It is so helpful.

In 2014 I was at one hospital, (the one where the consultant didn't show up for my initial appointment after diagnosis leaving a note saying he 'didn't want to see me') so I changed hospital (for many other reasons too) - next hospital was good until my consultant retired (even though they were the ones who mis-typed letters etc I managed to get copies of tests ). So, unhappy with allocated new consultant , I changed to my current one (excellent so far). The referral was messed up and I had to sort it (but hey,we're used this by now) They had re-referred me back to my first hospital (woahhhh !!!) I rang the first hospital to tell them I wouldn't be attending the appointment as there had been an error with the referral people, they asked who they were so I told them, they said they'd never heard of them and put me through to who they thought I should speak to. After holding for some time to some hideous music, someone answered, they were in India (yes on my phone bill) and had no idea about anything and weren't even medical related ! It is so frustrating and takes up so much time.

Fast forward, yesterdays post brought me a 'first appointment' with.........Did you guess? Yep, the original consultant who didn't show up to my very first appointment in 2014 - I kid you not :lol: I guess he's doing well financially being paid for these consultations and not showing up, Hey?

The good news is, that my letter from new hospital did arrive at the correct GP surgery, (albeit addressed to a Dr I have never heard of there and with the obligatory blood test result typo ) - I think they re just too under pressure to get things right in many areas right now, so It is extremely important for us to have access to our our test results, so we can copy (in our Big Blue Books) and carry to any appointments - Easy peasy and saves money, time and post for them, all they have to do is click 'print' now and again.

I have visited a medical centres in other Euro countries before, they give you a copy right there and then of your examinations, copies of test results etc when you leave ensuring you have them all in case of need, no typing needed as they have digital forms ready to fill in. Must save them time too and makes total sense to me.

I do feel bad when I complain about the NHS, they have been good in other areas in the past, but as you say, when these errors and delays can affect the health of patients, (as it did you DT) it's a serious matter. What if a typo reflected a fibroscan eg? My notes from 1st hospital haven't arrived at 2nd one yet, surely they should be digitally accessible?


GT1a Dec14 F2/8.7 VL 900000-2.5M
Jan16 Hepcivir-L MonkMed/Redemption
Baseline: VL 913575 Alt 76 Platelets low
Wk2 VL1157 Alt 23
DET Wk 8 VL 32 Alt19 'In the slow lane'
June16 Fibro 5.7 F0/1 LIF 1.5
Wk 11 VL<12 Alt 13 Det/Unq
Extending tx 12 wks Mylan Sofo/Dac MonkMed
Wk 14 VL <12 Det/Unq
Wk 16 VL UNDETECTED
Wk 22 + 4 Wks Sunprevir FixHepC
Wk 24 UNDETECTED Alt 13
Wk 12 post tx SVR12 Wk 26 SVR24
Thank-you Tim, Dr Debasis @ MonkMed & Dr Freeman @ Fix HepC
Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by LondonGirl.

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6 years 4 months ago #10906

I do feel bad when I complain about the NHS, they have been good in other areas in the past, but as you say, when these errors and delays can affect the health of patients, (as it did you DT) it's a serious matter. What if a typo reflected a fibroscan eg? My notes from 1st hospital haven't arrived at 2nd one yet, surely they should be digitally accessible?

It IS a serious matter, EVERY TIME. Because you can't tell which time will be the time that causes you to lose your life. I actually had 6 unnecessary weeks of interferon if I count in the 2 more weeks that the NHS took to belatedly confirm the PCR result that I had obtained for myself. I would have liked to have stuck all the miscreants in that scenario with 6 weeks of interferon to see how much more motivated they would have been to produce the required test results.

There is a certain collective loyalty to the NHS in the UK such that people do feel bad complaining about it. When the NHS came into being in 1948 it was truly a godsend to people who had hitherto had no medical services at all if they could not pay. Shades of that reverence still survive to the present day. Also, there are areas which really are excellent. But time has moved on. The UK is in the EU and should have standards which match the best of the EU. It has become like the family secret that nobody wants to say out loud - that some parts of the NHS look more like the services of a third world country than a modern EU country. Now that our junior doctors trained in the UK have been railroaded into a new contract that they don't believe in, we shall probably have to go to one of those third world countries to get treatment from one of them. Meanwhile who is going to be treating us here?

Of course all the records should be digitally accessible! We should also have the option of getting all our records downloaded straight to our mobile device if we want, or to a medical card which we can hand to the doctor who needs it. This goes for our dental and optical records as well. And yet we still have to navigate these legacy systems, waiting for weeks for records to arrive where they are needed because somebody somewhere along the administrative chain went on holiday, or something.

dt

Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by dointime.
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